Track Trek

Runner Discusses Journey, Future Plans


Photo courtesy of Meghan Wilcox

Focusing on the path in front, senior Meghan Wilcox competes at the state track meet on May 7. Wilcox participated in multiple events, including 200m and long jump, and placed third in the 100m. “The 100m [has] always been my favorite,” Wilcox said. “It’s always pushed me to perfect my running and push myself to my top speeds. It’s also just a lot of fun to run that fast since you can’t maintain top speed past a 100m.”

Morgan Kasel, Assistant Editor

Legs pumping, heart pounding, senior Meghan Wilcox pushes past the other competitors, the finish line in sight. After working to become the best she can be for the past few years, Wilcox will continue to apply the work ethic and mental strength she has gained while running track as she begins the next chapter of her life.

Wilcox has been running track for the past six years. Although she said that track has not always been her focus, once she realized her love for the sport, she fully committed to running. Now, Wilcox trains for about 10-15 hours a week, both before and after school.

“When I first joined [track] I had just quit gymnastics,” Wilcox said. “ I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at that point but I decided to give track a try as something to do for fun. Once I realized I really liked it and was actually good at it, track became my main focus.”

Over the last few years, Wilcox has participated in multiple meets, including district and state. This year, Wilcox qualified in four different events for State on May 7, including long jump and running events, such as the 200m, and tied for third place in the 100m. 

“I was pretty excited, my running events were something that I had been working towards for a while so it was gratifying to have the work pay off,” Wilcox said. “Long jump was a surprise to qualify for since it’s always just been something I do on the side for fun. Making it all the way to state for it was definitely unexpected.”

Typically, Wilcox said that she competes in the 100m and 200m for meets, along with either the 4×1 or 4×4 relay race. While she said that she mainly focuses on running events, she also practices long jump as a side event.

“The 100m [has] always been my favorite,” Wilcox said. “It’s always pushed me to perfect my running and push myself to my top speeds. It’s also just a lot of fun to run that fast since you can’t maintain top speed past a 100m.”

Despite COVID-19 regulations, Wilcox said that track practices and competitions were not too affected by the pandemic. However, the team was not able to participate in their usual events outside of track, such as team dinners.

“Honestly the COVID regulations weren’t a big problem,” Wilcox said. “The only main difference was that we couldn’t really do anything together as a team outside of practice and meets. That did somewhat take away from the experience since we couldn’t really do much bonding outside of school, but the team was still really close and had good connections.”

Although the team was not able to bond much outside of school, the team was still able to perform well together at meets and even won regionals this year.

“I would definitely say winning regionals as a team [was] the highlight of this year,” Wilcox said. “We were one of the smaller groups overall so it was insane to have scored the most team points out of the whole meet. There had been a lot of ups and downs throughout the meet so winning the title was just overwhelming.”

After graduation, Wilcox plans on running D1 track for Elon University while studying exercise science with the intention of pursuing physical therapy. For students who are just beginning their journey in track, Wilcox said that one of the most important things is to push through failures and to always work to be your best.

“My best advice is to just keep going,” Wilcox said. “You may trip or stumble along the way but you pick yourself up and keep going. There have been times when I’ve fallen flat on my face, sometimes literally, and didn’t want to continue. But I did. And because I did, I know I’ve become a better runner from it. Track is never going to be easy, you’ve gotta work for it. But it’s the work that you put in to be successful that matters. The end result will come if you put the effort in. Never give up, no matter what happens.”