Track athlete preps for outdoor season

Ben Grote, Sports Reporter

Nkemjika Nwosu, a freshman at College of DuPage shared his training experiences and preparation for the upcoming outdoor season of track and field. He also discussed how he got involved in the sport, and his drive to further progress his events.

Starting his freshman year of high school, Nkemjika began participating in track and field at Hinsdale Central. During his sophomore year of high school, Nkemjika was one of three underclassmen in the state to participate in the Illinois State track and field finals. Nkemjika has been motivated by his talent on the track and plans to pursue it with the hopes of attaining a scholarship for his athletics.

College of DuPage’s track team began training for their indoor season in December. The Chaparrals track and field team practices six days a week for around three hours a day. The Chaparrals have competed in three meets so far in the indoor season. With the outdoor season coming soon, this means that athletes are going to be pushed as hard as they can mentally and physically, so that they can perform their best, come the start of the outdoor season. Upping the performance of athletes from their indoor season is crucial for having a successful time during the outdoor season.

“Based on my years of experience in the sport, getting the whole team in routine on a challenging regime that pushes everyone is really the key way for us to get better,” Nwosu said.

Despite the importance of having a great start for track and field athletes, Nkemjika felt that the Chaparrals had a slow start to their training, in terms of both intensity and the start date of practice. From COD’s performance in the three meets that the team had, he inferred that other schools performed well because of the fact that they started their training earlier than COD’s track and field program.

Nwosu says that while the practices were not as challenging as he wished in the beginning of their training, he says that after assistant coach Ivan Tamba, who was recently employed at Illinois State University, the practices began to flow much better.

“He really helped bring the team together, and since his arrival our practices have been much more challenging, in my opinion.” Nwosu says that this has helped progress his training further, and he feels that it’s been a great help for the team.

When asked about makeup of the average practice, Nwosu says a big help is that Track and Field teammates are split up in groups. By splitting teammates into groups, the athletes are able to get more individual attention from the coaching staff, and receive critical help on their form and other mechanics essential to improving their performance.

“Learning from coaches first-hand on what needs to be worked on long-term is very important for us to know what we’ll be focusing on during the season,” Nwosu said.

College of DuPage’s track team will compete in their first outdoor meet of the season on March 27, at Augustana College.

*A correction has been made to the online version in reference to Coach Ivan Tamba’s previous school, which he coached for. He worked at Illinois State University, not Iowa State University, as stated in the print copy of The Courier.