The Sprinting Sequoit

Emily Holmes

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Tommy cheers on her fellow Sequoit teammates after she finished her race at the second indoor meet of the track season at Rolling Meadows .“We push each other everyday,” Tommy said.

Ever since she was younger, freshman Ayanna Tommy has been exposed to the wonderful world that is track and field. Tommy’s mom participated in track in college, running the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter dash. Her dad participated in field events such as shot put and discus. Tommy’s family being so involved in this sport got her interested at a young age.

“My mom was a big track runner, so I wanted to be just like her,” Tommy said. “I just remember going to my cousin’s meets when I was younger too.”

Tommy, much like her mom, runs the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter dash. In addition to those races, she also runs the 100 meter dash and has had a lot of success, primarily in the 200 meter dash. From the second people drive into Antioch, Tommy’s name is plastered on a green, metal sign celebrating her back-to-back state championships in the 200 meter dash. Current teammate junior Noor Abdellatif uses this sign along with Tommy to help push herself towards her goals.

“She makes me think that I want to be a state champ too, but in the pole vault,” Abdellatif said.

Tommy’s goals as a freshman this season are very realistic, as she knows that high school track is very different from middle school track. Transitioning effectively between the two was an absolute priority and she’s currently making the transition look easy.

“I’m not really looking for what other people think, but more my perspective,” Tommy said.

The competition is a lot tougher and there is a lot more of it. Her goals include making it to conference and sectionals, but also, ideally, state. Tommy knows going into this season that she is one of the youngest athletes competing, but that is not going to stop her. Knowing this, she is choosing to keep her goals simple this year. Coach Daniel Oslage thinks that these are good goals based on the fact that Tommy is only a freshman.

“She’s not only competing against freshmen, like she was last year as eighth graders,” Oslage said. “Now there’s sophomores, juniors and seniors, so I think the challenge for her is to be able to handle a loss and how do you come back from that and move forward.”

Already this season, Tommy has shown that she is a force to be reckoned with for the rest of high school as she has already become the first girl since coach Erin Schoenfelder to go All-Conference in four events.