Mrs.Force Takes on Track!

This spring, WHS is welcoming a new member to the track team. As Mr. Gamble stepped down from his position as the distance track coach, Mrs.Force stepped up to provide the team with the guidance that it needed. 


With the weight of the distance track team on her shoulders, Force had large shoes to fill after the beloved Coach Gamble left. Luke Bartlett, who was coached by Gamble for 4 years in both cross country and track, says “I loved Coach Gamble, he motivated me to run and showed me how to persevere through difficult situations. He’s a great guy all around.” With all the good memories from the past seasons, the entire distance team was nervous to have a new coach. 


As a math teacher who never ran track herself, it may be surprising that she volunteered for the distance coaching spot, but Force found a love for running after high school: “I picked it up in college. I distinctly remember going to the gym with a friend and she was… not considered athletic at all. I had done a ton of sports my whole life and I watched her run for almost an hour on the treadmill and I couldn’t understand how she did it.” This moment fueled her determination to learn how to run for long distances. As she was living in Florida at the time, most of her running had to be done at night due to the temperature. Although it wasn’t easy to run so late, her competitive spirit and enjoyment of running motivated her.


Although her running journey started in college, her love for the sport continued into adulthood as well. To deal with the daily stress of life, she turned to running as a way to relax. She says that she “started to use running as a way to [turn] my brain off,” and to not constantly run through the checklist of things she has to do as an educator and mom. “I found when I’m running that I don’t think about that stuff, I just listen to music and get into that zone. It just became a really good time for just me,” Force says on the relaxing effects of running. 


One of the reasons Coach Force decided to take the position was to use the knowledge she had learned through her self directed research on running and share it with the team. She emphasizes a focus on form, breathing techniques, and proper routine in order to make the team better runners. This worked well, as senior Luke Bartlett was able to get a personal record and ran a mile in four minutes and 54 seconds, and many other runners saw an improvement from the beginning of the season as well. 


Coach Force has done a great job this season, and the distance track crew is looking forward to her continuing her important role as its coach. With her hard work, knowledge, and a group of talented runners, the WHS track team will be sure to continue its success into the future.