Is Track and Field Really a Team Sport?

Is Track and Field Really a Team Sport?

Kieran Hoskinson, Writer

There you are, on your couch, perhaps a chair, watching the Track and Field Olympics. You may reminisce on your high school days, thinking about your track team you grew so fond of, shared memories with, PR’ed with, and shared victory with….kind of. Did you really share those victories with them? Was your PR a team effort? You see I propose a different view of track and field. Though I can’t deny the community involved, I can say for certain that this is no team sport.

For those of you who where the best at your event, you probably got tasked with helping train the new guys to a certain extent. Now if this was a team sport, you’d help them grow into amazing athletes and take home metal after metal with them. But this is not the case. Only one person gets the gold metal, it’s not shared. You can train the new runners all you want, but the thing preventing them from getting first place will always be you. You raise a group of amazing runners, just to turn around when their skills are put to the test and show them just how far behind you they really are.

Now what about PR’s? Obviously team mates help make you better, and achieve new heights, so surely the PR aspect of track makes it a team sport right? No. Sure, you did your best, and set a new record for yourself. But, if your PR isn’t beating the top three athletes on your “team”, then really, your PR is only for you. The top three in each event scores points for their group, as ill call it. Unfortunately, places below 3rd do not contribute. Meaning this, if your PR is not up to par with the top 3, it’s only for you, not the group.

However, there is a level of comradery that even I consider to make us a team. It is true that at the end of the day, everyone you train with is who you will be going against, those people you compete against, or maybe even with, are friends. Now sure, you might not like everyone on the team, and that’s okay, just like life outside of track, you get to choose your friends. This is the element of track that I find the most applying, and confusing. it’s an individual sport, backed by a group of people you train to beat, but help improve.