The record-breaking relay
March 7, 2016
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1:12:1 was the time to beat.
Coach Frank Schweda knew that this year his 4×150 had the chance to break the school record. On Feb. 26, senior Jack Swindells, juniors Nigel Wilson and Matt Zieba and sophomore Jared Axelrad beat the high school record with a time of one minute and 11.7 seconds. A record that has stood for 16 years.
The gun has fired and the runners are off. Wilson is running 150 meters to his teammate. After transferring in from Buffalo Grove High School, Wilson is now a valuable runner of Rolling Meadows Track and Field. Though switching schools may be stressful for most, Wilson’s charismatic personality helped make his move much more bearable. He participates in two sports, football and track. Ever since the football season, friends and coaches have been anticipating Wilson’s Rolling Meadows track debut, and he has not disappointed anyone. He may be one of the fastest kids in the school, but that doesn’t mean he’ll miss a practice or lack in effort here and there. Wilson is always at practice giving his all, and that is why he is an athlete.
“When Nigel runs, everyone looks over,” Axelrad said. “He’s talented and watching him dust his opponents gets everyone hyped to run.”
Swindells has received the baton and is dashing through his 150 meters. As one of the few senior track and field members, Swindells is a figure of commitment and hardwork. As the captain of the boys’ track team, he acts as another coach to the many track athletes. Swindells sets the example by never missing practice, giving 100 percent effort constantly, and taking care of his body so he can be ready for each race. These actions help his performance when watching him long jump or race against his opponents. This is Swindell’s last year to make his mark at Rolling Meadows High School, and once again he has reached his goals.
“Track practice doesn’t start until Jack walks in,” Wilson said. “He is basically another coach who never fails to get everyone up on their feet.”
With a clean handoff, Zieba has just received the relay baton and is racing to his last teammate. Zieba competes in high jump, triple jump and several races. He is known as the funny guy at track practice, always having the ability to lighten the mood and ease tensions. Aside from the jokes, Zieba is a valuable member of football and track. He wants to perform well in track, but his main goal is to prepare for the football season. Zieba shows a strong effort in and out of practice in the weight room. If Zieba performs how he currently has been, he’ll have a shot at achieving his goal of breaking the 400 meter dash record.
“Matt’s a great runner,” Swindells said. “We’ll need him to break our own 4×150 record again.”
Finishing the race off, Axelrad has received the baton and is darting to the finish to take down the standing record. Being the youngest of the relay team, he learns a lot from his older teammates. But Axelrad isn’t dragging them down. He is a talented runner with only room to grow. Axelrad is training hard to be a running back for the school’s football team. During his freshman year, Axelrad broke the freshman school record for long jump. This year, he already helped break the 4×150 meter race record. If he continues to show up to practice and train for the future, there is no doubt that more records will be broken under his name.
“It’s cool to see Jared getting better, since he’s the youngest of us four,” Zieba said. “He’s an awesome guy, and I can’t wait to see him run in his senior year.”