By Sherlock Ortiz
Rachel Stone ’18 started running track when she was 12 years old. Her father was a high jumper and her brother also runs track, so she considers it a part of her family tradition.
“My parents always pushed me into sports, growing up,” Stone said. “Once I started running track I realized this is really what I’m good at and like to do. For me it was a great outlet, and a great way to develop healthy habits.”
Her main event is the 400 meter hurdles, which she set her personal record for in her sophomore year at LC. She has competed on the LC track team all four years she has attended this school. Though Stone may not compete in the indoor meets, the first outdoor meet is coming up in early March. At this meet, she is hoping to beat her personal best in the 400 meter hurdles.
Some years, Stone found training to be harder than others, but she always stuck with track.
“What brings me back, every time, is my friends on the team and our coaches,” Stone said. Last year the team hired a new assistant coach, Aaron Campbell, who helps students manage their time between school and sports.
“(Head coach Keith Woodard is) very supportive of you and your goals, whether they’re academic or athletic,” Stone said. She has also found support from her teammates, who have become some of her closest friends.
The 50-athlete team is the largest on campus. Stone commented on how this brings people from many different backgrounds and interests, as there are a lot of roles to fill for different events.
As the semester continues, practices have been getting more and more intense, which are held every day of the week except for Sunday.
“Every week it’s going to get harder until we hit competition season, and then it’ll start to get a little easier as our bodies get used to running meets,” Stone said. The workouts include a lot of running as well as weight lifting and ab workouts.
This intense schedule can often be too much for some students.
“As long as you schedule your time well, you’ll have plenty of time for friends and to go out,” Stone said.
Stone is a psychology major with a minor in Asian studies. She studied abroad in Japan during the fall of 2016. During her time there she did not work out as much and found it hard to come back to compete in the spring of 2017.
After graduating in May, Stone will take time off school to work and pursue other interests. She is interested in returning home to Seattle to work for Pramila Jayapal’s political campaign, who is running for re-election in Washington’s 7th Congressional district. After that, she is looking to apply to graduate school and would like to pursue a career in education, perhaps as a high school counselor. She does not know if she will continue running.
“I love it a lot, but it’s really hard on your body, and I don’t think it’s really sustainable,” Stone said. She is considering taking up biking, and would like to someday bike the Seattle to Portland bike path. Her father did it every year for a while, and she hopes to bike the entire route with him soon.