Captain catch-up

Shorewood track captains discuss their goals and routines


Track captian Yubi Mamiya runs with fellow track captain Kyla Johnson, and others.

by Loannis Soler, staff

As spring begins and the sun starts to come out for the first time since summer, many athletes prepare for the next season of sports. Track, one of Shorewood’s most popular sports, has started up again, like it does every spring. With this being the first real track season since the start of COVID, there has been some apprehension and a lot of excitement. The track captains Julian Larson, Keegan Sherry, Yubi Mamiya, and Lake Mueller are thrilled for the new season and have been doing a lot to prepare. 


What are your goals for the season?


Larson – “My goal for this season is to break a 5-minute mile.”

Sherry- “I’d love for my team to go to state again, but my biggest goal is to get everyone involved and feeling valued.”

Mamiya- “My personal goal for the season is to qualify for the Wesco South League Championships because I’ve never been able to run there before. For the team, I’m super excited to help our freshmen compete in their first large track meets and the 2K Steeplechase.“

Mueller – “To beat the school record for the 400.”


What keeps you motivated?


Mamiya- “My family, friends, and teammates keep me motivated. Even when I’m injured or feeling discouraged, they push me to improve myself, no matter how small that improvement may be.”

Sherry – “It’s really hard to stay motivated. Sometimes track is hard and workouts aren’t so fun, but I’d say just the feeling of finishing a race and knowing ‘I just finished that’ is a very motivating idea and I feel like everyone whether it’s a throws event or a sprint or a jump, everyone’s waiting for that moment when the event is done and you’re just proud that you did it and it doesn’t matter how well you did.”

Mueller – “I don’t know. I guess going to practice and the team’s always hyped so it’s just a good vibe in general.”


Why did you start running track?


Larson – “I just really liked running. I did cross country and I just thought track would be a good extension to that.”

Sherry- “ Well, I’ve played soccer my whole life, and I’ve always been one of the fastest players in my team. So when I was in 7th grade I was like “Ok I’ll join the track team” because I know I run fast and I was pretty successful so I just kept doing it and I like it because there’s also a lot of other people that have the same experience as me and I can relate to them. I also like how many events there are.”

Mamiya- “I became a track athlete because running is such a big part of my family and culture. I love spending time with my family on our runs together and pushing ourselves in our workouts.”

Mueller – “I knew I was good at running, so I just joined track to try it out.”


What’s your greatest moment running track?


Larson – “My greatest moment would probably be getting 2nd in the mile.”

Sherry – “I went to district finals as a freshman in the 400 meter and that was a really cool experience because I was running with Skye Nephew and Grace Camilla and the three of us were representing Shorewood in the final heat at districts so that was really fun and exhilarating and just like one of my proudest moments and we ended up all being in the state team too.”

Mamiya – “My happiest moment running Track is when I broke my personal record during a 1600 meter time trial with my family. Even though the 2020 Track season was cut short because of COVID-19, they supported me in running sub-6 minutes for the first time.”

Mueller – “Being a 52 flat for the 400.”


Thoughts on the track season?


Larson – “I think it’s going to be a good season. I think we have a lot of really really great runners, great throwers. I think it’s going to go well.”

Sherry – “We have a pretty good looking team this year. I’m really excited to get everyone involved and use my role as track captain to create a more unified team because last year we had such a short season so it was hard to get close with everyone and get to know everyone. It feels like a really good climate so far.”

Mamiya – “For this track season, I’m really excited because we have a lot more time, meets, and teammates compared to last year. I’m hopeful that this will lead to a lot of great Personal Records and improvements across the board!”

Mueller – “I’m excited to finally have a full season since sophomore year got canceled and junior year was short.”


How have you been preparing for the season?


Larson – “A lot of workouts on the track. A lot of long mileage, like 20-30 miles a week.”

Mamiya- “I’ve been preparing for this season since Cross Country. Many Track distance athletes do both sports, so we’re able to connect and train together during the winter as well.”

Mueller – “I don’t really prepare because track season is after swim season so I’ll have to get ready for swim season anyway.”


Did you change your workout routine/diet for the season?


Larson – “Yeah. I’ve definitely been drinking a lot more water – eating a lot more things with more protein in them, less sugars.”

Sherry – “Not so much because I play soccer and I swim too so I’m kind of getting those cross workouts in.”

Mamiya- “I keep my diet the same all year round. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, even if it’s during the season.”

Mueller – “Yeah, more running, more lower body than upper body. My diet also sort of changed.”


What’s the difference between this season and the ones before?


Larson- “This is kind of the first season after the COVID year. This is definitely a big transition even though we’re kinda getting back to how it used to be, it’s still pretty weird.“

Sherry – “Because it was shorter and we didn’t really get a postseason, it was really hard to get to know everyone and to create one whole team. I feel like it was more of separate friend groups. I think this year we’re already getting to know each other and we also have an Instagram this year and I hope we can get more team bondings and stuff.“

Mamiya- “Hopefully, the difference between this season and the ones before is that COVID-19 won’t restrict us as much.”

Mueller – “It’s a full season.”


How do you manage your schedule? (being track captain + other stuff in school)


Larson – “I just try to get as much done in SAS, then I designate two hours to do other things and whatever I can do in the weekend I try to do.”

Sherry –  “I feel like it’s pretty easy since I’m already here in school and practice is like right after school. After track I always go home. I do homework, soccer practice, tutoring, volunteering, but overall it’s pretty easy since I’m already here.”

Mamiya – “I manage my schedule by focusing on the activities I enjoy doing and the people I really love. I’ve found that if I commit to my favorite things, such as Track, I’ll make time for it even when I’m busy.”

Mueller – “It’s after school so school is fine, then I have the navy workouts which is on Wednesday so sometimes I have to skip practice and go to that workout and it works out pretty well.”


Some people say track isn’t a sport. What are your thoughts?


Larson – “I think it’s hard to define a sport. Track is definitely really physically demanding and competitive so I’d say it’s a sport.”

Sherry – “I would say that’s pretty crazy. If people say golf is a sport and baseball is a sport then track is definitely a sport too. You have to have a lot of endurance and it’s hard on your body whether you’re a runner, a jumper, a thrower, or a vaulter, you’re working with every muscle on your body and there’s a lot of endurance training whatever type of event you’re doing so I’d definitely say it’s a sport.”

Mamiya – “People say that Track isn’t a sport?!?! I believe that any activity that pushes your physical ability to its limit is a sport, Track included.”

Mueller – “They’re dumb.”


Anything you’d want to change about track season?


Larson – “I think we need to have more competitive meets. Just more meets on weekends.”

Sherry –  “I do kind of wish the mask mandate was still up, but it really doesn’t affect us that much since we’re outside. It would be a much bigger deal if we were inside, but personally I think why not keep our masks on.”

Mamiya – “The season is going great so far! I’m excited for some of our larger invitational meets!”


Has social distancing and wearing masks affected your performance on the track?


Larson – “I wouldn’t say that much. I think that we’ve adjusted pretty well to (social distancing).”

Sherry – “Last year we did have to wear masks except right before we got on the blocks to race. Some people would still wear them while running, and for my first meet last year I kept my mask on when I was running the 400’ and it was insanely difficult and I definitely should have taken it off. I didn’t realize that it would affect me a lot, but it was hard running with a mask on.”

Mamiya – “I feel that the social distancing and mask mandates during our Track seasons has really helped retain our Track team because athletes feel safe with us. It’s important to me that everyone with different health backgrounds can participate.”