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The History of Track and Field and Its Development in America

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Track and field may seem like it’s boring and a waste of time. No one really wants to sit around in the hot sun just watching random people run as fast as possible. Believe me that no one will intentionally put themselves in this position. If I wouldn’t have tried track myself I would have thought the same of what many others think about the sport. There are so many hours of training and coaching in order to cross that line first or jump a goal height or even throw a winning distance. Since I have joined track and field, it has been very challenging and uplifting. It definitely isn’t the easiest sport. Participation in track and field has helped me not only push myself harder but also encouraged me to believe in myself and what I can accomplish. It encourages you to work hard for yourself to help the team. Essentially, it’s all about you and whatever you are willing to put into it, the more you will get out of it. It has taught me to be supportive of my team no matter what obstacles come our way. I have never appreciated and loved a sport as much as track and field. Yet I’m not the only person impacted by track and field, the whole United States has been impacted by the sport and it has evolved tremendously.

Track has a long history dating back to the Ancient Greek Olympics. Which the first organized series of track meets was started by the NYAC in 1870.They were command doubly a year and referred to as the spring and fall games. In 1876 it had been set that a national championship for track and field was required. So the 1876 fall games were chosen because the host meets for these games. There the first American track and field championship was held. “The sport of track and field because it is in current times, a combination of running, throwing, and jumping competitions, can be seen to develop through numerous pathways to America.” One was that of the recent European athletic carnivals. These carnivals concerned many athletic events combined into one huge competition rather like track is currently. Another pathway was that of the pure running competition. Competitions only involving running were developed in Europe then brought to America. Pretty much most aspects were from Europe then brought to America. Following the civil war, track had began to take on a more formal and amateur style. Running races became more standardized and athletic clubs began popping up around the country. With all of those developments, the game of track and field began to correspond what the game is these days in America. Now there are many people involved and committed to the sport.

One person specifically that I would like to talk about is Sydney McLaughlin. She is an American hurdler and sprinter who competed for the University of Kentucky. This was before she had turned professional. She had won the silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 400m hurdles, which she set a new personal best of 52.53 seconds. McLaughlin belongs to a very athletic family. Her father Willie was a semi-finalist in the 400 meters at the 1984 Olympic Trials, while her mother Mary was a runner in high school. Her older brother Taylor won silver in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships. McLaughlin started running at an early age, following Taylor and her older sister Morgan.

She had placed a close second behind Shamier Little in the 400-meter hurdles at the national junior championships in 2014. Her time was 55.63, a national high school freshman record. She would have qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, but she was too young to qualify. Sydney also set a world age group best in the 100-meter hurdles. Sydney had improved her 400-meter hurdles best at the national youth trials. On May 13, 2018, McLaughlin broke the collegiate and NCAA record in the 400-meter hurdles. She ran a 52.75 to win the event in her first appearance to the SEC championship. In October 2018 she turned professional. She then signed with the New balance team . Sydney has had many accomplishments for how young she is. Yet the reason she has all the acomplishments that she does is because she pushes herself to work harder for what she wants. Her acompishments don’t only define her but also what she wants for herself.

Overall this sport still has many impacts on people and shows just how hard they really do work in order to complish soming for themselves. It has’nt only made an impact on the United States, but it has also left its impact date back into history. Which proves it has something to show for itself. I feel this sport encourages people to work harder for themselves and improve their abilities in any sport. Track also improves the shape you’re in for any other sport because it all involes a lot of conditioning. I feel track isn’t only benifical but also a fun sport.

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The History Of Track And Field And Its Development In America. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from
“The History Of Track And Field And Its Development In America.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2021,
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