Athletes in Preparation

Many athletes at Elkhorn North use one sport to prepare for another.


Photo by Jeriah Station

Freshman Jeriah Station runs the ball up the field

As the world of sports shifts to more specialization and single-sport athletes, the traditional well-rounded athlete is becoming a thing of the past. However, there are many benefits to playing more than one sport. Several athletes at Elkhorn North take advantage of opportunities by playing extra sports to train for their main field of play.

Track and cross country are two that are very popular at Elkhorn North. Freshman Britt Prince, the face of athletics in year one at Elkhorn North, runs both cross country and track to improve her basketball talent.

Britt Prince dribbles the ball up the court in the state championship game against Norris (Photo by Britt Prince)

“Track and cross country improve my endurance for basketball and also the other muscles that aren’t used as much in basketball,” Prince said, “I also like running and I enjoy the environment and people that are part of it.”

Football is a sport that uses speed and acceleration more than most other sports. Many football players run track to improve their speed and increase strength in leg muscles. Thus, track is a popular choice for football players looking to get better.

Freshman Jeriah Station, a running back, is a sprinter on the track team.

Station celebrates after a touchdown (Photo by Jeriah Station)

“I run track so I can get faster and stay in shape over the spring season,” Station said, “I stay conditioned for the summer camps and I get faster and work on my agility.”

Sophomore Christian Young who is also a running back, runs track for the same reasons. These football players both love the track atmosphere and see improvements constantly.

Christian Young stiff-arms a Roncalli defender

“I run track because I want to get faster for football and because I enjoyed doing it in middle school so it worked out pretty well,” Young said, “If I didn’t run track, I would miss out on getting some extra time to focus on my own running and I would miss out on relationships I’ve found through the team. Everyone is very supportive of what you do and it’s a really rewarding place to be.”

Most athletes who play multiple sports, especially those who run track and cross country, say it’s very beneficial to their athletic careers as a whole. They don’t seem to mind the workload either that comes with being involved in several activities. 

“I’ve gotten faster and have better speed and endurance because of track,” Station said, “It has made me significantly better.”

One thing that single sport athletes miss out on is the benefit of playing on multiple teams. Multi-sport athletes are able to diversify their athletic experiences and open themselves up to a much larger group of athletes. Those who choose to involve themselves in several sports are able to create relationships with a variety of people which is something that specialized athletes can’t do.

“Running track and cross country have helped me stay in shape for basketball and get stronger in my legs which helps a lot,” Prince said, “I think it is important to be a multi-sport athlete and it has many benefits.”

Even as society shifts to sports specialization, athletes all over the country still play more than one sport which proves to have many advantages over choosing one sport. 

“It’s great conditioning, it makes me faster, and it’s overall a great experience,” Young said, “I’ve had enough fun so far to make me want to come back next year.”