Track and field becomes a varsity sport


Wongyeom Yang (10) runs at track and field practice.

On Jan. 31, Jonathan Ames, athletics and activities director, announced that track and field is officially a varsity sport. From 2017 to 2022, track and field was just a club. Athletes who did not make the team for varsity soccer or badminton can choose to try out for varsity track and field instead. Although there will be no cuts made during the try outs, contribution during practices and meets will determine the athlete’s qualifications for the varsity lettering.

“Track and field is one of the sports where all you need to be is committed to the team,” Jonathan Ames said. “Even if you are not a good runner, or even if you are not the best at getting personal records or competing in tournaments, if you work hard then you can be part of the team. I would consider it a success if we have uniform, numbers, and committed athletes. As a burgeoning program, the actual success of the team is secondary.”

“Track and field is a sport where commitment is important,” Jonathan Ames, athletics and activities director, said. “Even if you are not a good runner, or even if you are not the best at getting personal records or competing in tournaments, dedication and effort is more important to the team. Uniforms, numbers, and committed athletes will surely make the team more meaningful.”

Varsity track and field practices have been set to Wednesday and Friday every week. Compared to other varsity sports, who practice every day except Monday, the practice is less burdensome, prompting more athletes to sign up.

According to Mr. Ames, other international schools, such as Korea International School, Seoul Foreign School, Yongsan International School, and Chadick International are also creating teams. The KAIAC schools plan on integrating their teams into an already established league in the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, such as Humphreys High School, Osan Middle High School, and Daegu Middle High School.

“I think this track and field season will bring new memories as it becomes a varsity sport,” Philip Ham (12), track and field captain, said. “I was part of the team last year and it really was very rewarding. I am excited to go against more schools this year because last year we only had one or two meets and there were not that many participants from our school. I think competing with other schools is a great way to learn more about the sport. With a new coach, Mr. Henderson, I am looking forward to what the season will look like.”

Currently, there are four track and field meets scheduled at Humphreys High School, which sports a premier track and field venue. As the team grows, there could be potential outsourcing to other tracks and fields in Seoul for a couple practices per week.