Star sprinter reflects on experience in track team

March 4, 2015 — by Caitlin Ju and Dorrie Tang

A key member of the team for four years and now a star varsity sprinter, senior Laura Cummins first became involved in the sport during the summer after eighth grade.

“Lunges! High knees! Change directions!”

Head down to the turf after school some day, and you’ll see senior Laura Cummins shouting these instructions, leading the track team in their daily warm-up routine.

A key member of the team for four years and now a star varsity sprinter, she first became involved in the sport during the summer after eighth grade when she attended a pre-season track practice with her older sisters, Michelle and Katie.

Having watched both her sisters compete on the SHS track team for years, Cummins was inspired to join the team the following spring.  

Though she had already participated in some summer workouts with her older sisters and their coaches, Cummins started competing the summer before she entered high school.

“I did the All-Comers’ meet at Los Gatos, and I never really tried out any other sport because I started out with [track] and liked it so I stuck with it,” Cummins said.

Laura, unlike her older sisters, Michelle and Katie, who did jumps and throwing respectively, decided to focus on sprints. Though she sees the 100-meter dash as her main event, she also participates in the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, the 4 x 100 meter relay and the 4 x 400 meter relay.

“I knew I didn’t want to do long distance, so I just tried out sprinting right away to see how it was and I liked it,” Cummins said.

By focusing on the 100 meter, Cummins saw a significant improvement from her freshman and sophomore year in her junior year. During her freshman year, her 100-meter time was in the 14 second range, but as of last year, Cummins’ 100 meter personal record is 12.93 seconds.

She attributes the faster times to “more weight training, more summer practices and preseason practices and more motivation because that was when [she] started looking at colleges.”

As she was invited to the CCS Top 8 qualifiers meet last year and is the girls’ team’s fastest 100-meter sprinter, Cummins is seen by her teammates as a hard worker and a star runner.

Fellow relay sprinter senior Avery Gigoux recognizes Cummins as a good leader and an important member of the team.

“She’s someone who believes in everyone. No one’s ever had any problems with her,” Gigoux said. “She works out three times as hard as everyone else and brings the team together.”

Cummins hopes to continue doing track in college even though she plans on majoring in either business or biological sciences, and has applied to schools like the University of San Diego and Occidental College, which are both Division 3 in track.

“[Track] is not the only determination,” Cummins said. “I would choose academics, but I do have a preference to running at whatever college I choose. That’s my motivation especially for the schools that have a set time for me to make the team.”

Though Cummins is unsure if she will be able to continue track in college, she is certain being on the track team has left a positive impact on her life.

“I like the competition aspect [since] it’s nice to get the adrenaline going,” Cummins said. “It’s a good release if you are really stressed. It boosts your confidence and you feel better.”

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