Track Season: An Interview with Mr. Benz

Henry Sendra, Staff Writer

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Track season is quickly approaching! To get a clearer image on the benefits and fun of track, I interviewed Mr. Benz, one of Pierce’s three track coaches, and talked to him about why he enjoys his position as a coach.

 

For the past fifteen years, Mr Benz has been thoroughly involved in track at Pierce.

“I was the head coach the first few years we had a team!  Wowzer, we had no buses, we had parents help carpool the runners to the meets. It was a lot of work. Now we have a bus and an athletic director, much better.”, Mr. Benz reminisced on his early years coaching track here at Pierce.

 

Mr. Benz also told me about the benefits of track. “Track is a lot like other sports. You practice your events, you work out, you do team stuff.  Like other sports, you become stronger and more fit. Cardiovascular fitness is the characteristic that makes track different. Lots of running is very good for making your heart stronger.” he told me in support of the sport.

 

When I asked about his favorite track race, Mr. Benz said, “My favorite track event is the steeplechase (a steeplechase is a run most commonly 3000 meters long, containing twenty-eight barriers and seven water jumps). I ran that event at Aquinas College.  My favorite middle school event is the 200 meter hurdles. It’s a short race with stuff in the way, not much is better than that.”

 

Mr. Benz also reminisced on his favorite moment during his career as a coach. “The most memorable thing of all my coaching was becoming good friends with Barry Novack. He and I coached together for about 10 years. Once, we won a meet when a runner with a broken arm ran in a race and won.” he told me.

 

I personally wanted to know what motivates him to continue to coach track. “Seeing my athletes improve their skills and fitness is the most motivating factor for being a coach. The success of my athletes is very gratifying. The runner does not have to win the race in order for it to be a successful day. If the athlete improves, then forward progress has been made and that is very satisfying.” he explained.

 

Mr. Benz also explained why students should join track. “Everyone who has the time should run. It’s fun. It’s convenient be be on the team because we run on our own field and usually only practice for an hour. You will make new friends too. Did I mention it is fun? The new coach Mr. Williams is great too. Top notch coach. We are fortunate to have him here.” Mr. Benz made some great points in support of track.

Track is a fun and healthy sport, and a great way to spend some time outside after school. The informational meeting for track is on Monday, March 25th. Thanks Mr. Benz for answering my questions, and I am excited to see those who are interested at track this season!

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