New and old athletes discuss goals and anticipations as the 2022 Track and Field Season Kicks Off

Track and field is an all-inclusive sport that includes a multitude of events that challenges
various aspects of both the mind and body. This popular outdoor sport includes events that any
new athlete can enjoy from short distance like the 100 meter dash, middle like the 400 meter,
long distance such as the 2 mile, and others such as shot put, javelin, high jump, triple jump,
pole vaulting, hurdles, steeplechase, running relays and so much more.

Here at Oviedo High School, athletes in the past such as Sam Austin and even
Olympian Jenny Simpson have created daunting legacies and impossible records that new,
enthusiastic athletes still work to beat as they show up year after year and even sometimes
succeed in doing so! As the 2022 track and field season has kicked off at Oviedo, one can
scope out the incoming flow of fresh new competition and watch familiar faces or brand new
ones try to push themselves and each other past limits they never thought possible to break.
One specific returning track and field athlete expresses their excitement coming back to
track for her second year at Oviedo and her goals as she prepares for the grueling season
ahead. “This track season, my goals are to break 6:00 in the 1600 and 13:30 in the 3200.” Mady
Falk, a sophomore and long-distance track athlete highlights when discussing her goals and
means by achieving them this upcoming season. “I plan to achieve these goals by pushing
myself in practice everyday even when my body wants to quit, and by practicing my events at
meets so I can get better as the season progresses.” Additionally showing her dedication she’s
built from her time running at Oviedo.

Another athlete returning from cross country but starting his first year as a freshman on
the track team, explains a similar viewpoint. “I plan to run the 600m, 800m and maybe the
1600m,” Nelson Kanistras (9) explains when asked what events he plans on doing this year. “I
want to excel the most in the 800 and 600 because I’m better at shorter distances like that than
longer distances like the 1600. My goals for this year are to get a 1:30 in the 600 and to run
varsity for a couple meets. I want to prove I can run hard and be able to excel against tough
competition,” he adds.

In addition to returning athletes setting new goals for themselves in the upcoming
season, new track and field competitors can begin to get a feel for the sport, team, and dynamic
and create new goals for themselves as they work hard at practice everyday. Despite the initially
overwhelming pressure of choosing events that they will most excel in and practicing with more
experienced runners than themselves, one thing that will always remain the same here at
Oviedo is the encouraging dynamic of track and field which makes this normally intimidating
process so much easier.

By promoting friendly sportsmanship between coaches and fellow peers, new athletes
are able to adjust to new environments because they are not only permitted but implored to try
every event until they find what they’re best at and is most comfortable for them. These qualities
are a vital ingredient to the success that Oviedo has seen over the years and ones that will
continue to carry into upcoming ones. Riley Sanderson (10) highlights this point as she shares
that “Personally, I think teamwork and perseverance are what make a successful team.”
Explaining how “it’s really easy to convince yourself to give up so you need those supportive
teammates to help you keep going,” a personal piece of advice from a newcomer to the sport.
Finally, this 2022 Track and Field season is extra special as it is the end of head coach
Dave Tibbett’s coaching career in both Oviedo track and cross country, concluding his
overwhelmingly positive reputation he’s maintained since the school’s first beginnings. Over the
years Tibbett’s has been at Oviedo, he has not only brought multiple athletes to District,
Regional, and even National championships, but has also instilled priceless life lessons that
really resonate in his athletes even as they head off to start new lives, and has inspired
everyone he’s encountered to be the best they can be in the time he’s been here.

Although he will be missed by many and seeing his departure will take a piece of
precious Oviedo life with him, Coach Tibbetts is not quite done yet. “Yes, it is my last season
coaching, but the goals never change. It’s simple. Bring out the best in each athlete. Find the
event they can be most successful in and work with them with the single goal of bringing them
to the State Championship,” he eagerly explains. “In Track and Field you absolutely get out of it,
what you put into it. Hard work is rewarded when it comes to Championship Season. I’ve seen
many talented athletes on other teams that never fulfill their potential because they refuse to put
in the work. We’ve been so blessed at Oviedo High School to have athletes that know hard
work WILL always pay off,” he adds. Even though Coach’s career at Oviedo may be ending, he
will not rest until he has the satisfaction of knowing he’s made an impact in every athlete’s lives
on and off the track…or field.