Article by Sacha Bindra
Photograph by Mike Feng
As IASAS track in Bangkok approaches, athletes are more focused than ever on performing to the best of their ability. However, track athletes are not only aiming for medals, but chasing track records. Whether they’re from ISM or IASAS, records are a reminder of previous students who have mentally and physically pushed themselves to achieve what was previously thought to be impossible. In the spirit of competition and improvement, athletes work tirelessly to break these records, setting new goals for the next generation to strive for. With the recent Twilight Track meet, and upcoming IASAS, the idea of breaking and setting records is fresh on everyone’s mind.
During the twilight meet, senior Ayaka S. broke a twenty-year-old shotput record, while senior Trinity M. tied the girls’ High Jump record. For Trinity, records are clear proof of the endless work and dedication that goes into achieving excellence in any field. She says, “It means I’ve trained harder and dedicated myself to doing something that hasn’t been done before. For me, it is one of the greatest rewards for all of the work I’ve done.”
Last year, Trinity’s efforts in track and field led to three broken records. Regardless, she views each accomplishment with the same amount of excitement. She also notes that each and every athlete holds a great amount of respect for breaking records, saying, “It’s every athlete’s dream and goal to be able to accomplish that.”
While athletes may make pursuing and breaking records appear simple, in reality, it requires intense effort and attention. When striving to beat the “best” or the “impossible,” athletes are required to mentally and physically dedicate themselves to reach this goal. Trinity explains the specific process, saying, “I have to run against people who are faster and stronger than me [and] I have to wake up early and do extra workouts.”
Due to the focus and time it requires, some may question the concept of keeping records for middle and high school students in the first place. However, records are primarily seen in a positive light, as they’re first and foremost used as tools to encourage improvement. For example, Trinity says, “I see a record as something I should strive to beat every time I run.” In other words, it’s clear that aiming to break records is a serious task, undertaken by those who look to further their own athletic ability.
Although track and field athletes already compete in each event, competing to break a record is a different beast entirely. No matter the occasion, each race or event has a winner, but records are far more rare. Trinity says, “When I break a record, it’s like I’ve raced against all of the fastest people in that event and finished a winner,” proving that each record broken is extremely special in its own right. Whether it was established 20 years ago or two weeks ago, records push athletes to achieve the impossible, proving the old cliché right: records truly are made to be broken.