Girls Track fights for the honor of wearing the belt – The Knight Crier
Ordinary medals and bland trophies are no match for the North Penn girls’ track team. Only a wrestling belt could spice things up and add a unique touch to showcasing the team’s accomplishments.
The inspiration for the wrestling belt came from Miami Football’s turnover chain. After a big play on defense, the athlete who participates in this feat is gifted with the spinning chain to show that he has played a big part in the success of the team. After seeing this, track and field team head coach Brandon Turner wanted to pass on this demonstration of success by having his own belt to give to the “competition athlete” after each competition. Having an item to show at school and having the belt to recognize athlete successes allows the publicity of the track and field team to grow.
“We’ve always had a ‘competition athlete’ since I’ve been here. It used to be that the reward was a trophy or just an honor, but I wanted to do something a little more formal so we could have our own version of a rolling chain,” Coach Turner explained.
After each competition, a poll is circulated through the track team to determine who was the “athlete of the meet”. Each time the bus returns from team meetings, nominations are put in place and voted on to crown the winner of the “athlete of the meeting” of the week. Poll finalists will be rewarded with an “atta girl” and ultimately the “competition athlete” will receive the belt.
“Some really good athletes have received this belt and it’s one of the coolest things. State champions in the 400 meters, long jump, relays, kids running in Penn and Boston and our All Americans have pictures with the belt from five years ago and we’re trying to keep building there above,” Turner explained.
Having the team choose who was the number one person who exceeded their goals among the entire team helps lay the foundation for the athletes and their successes. This honor is something that will inspire athletes to work harder to achieve their goals and to do their best. Being able to show that you have triumphed releases a positive and motivated attitude throughout the team. If the athletes bring the belt to school, the whole team will stop their abdominal exercises for at least one practice.
“I always feel like athletics is something that goes under the radar. Having something the girls can bring to school is another way to recognize the team,” Turner said.
I always feel like athletics is something that goes under the radar. Having something the girls can bring to school is another way to give recognition to the team.”
— Coach Brandon Turner
Even with the temptation to pull out abs, most girls are too embarrassed to wear the belt and draw attention to themselves. The belt is very authentic and has a shine like no other. Most girls take out the belt in the classes where they feel the most comfortable and feel the least judged. As long as they pull out the belt and take a picture with it, no abs will be included in the workout.
“Everyone looks at you and says ‘Oh my God, what is it’ because it’s so big and shiny and embarrassing, but I wore the belt and lost my abs. In Overall, I think the belt is a good thing and it motivates the team,” said junior athlete Taylor Forbes.
Crowning the belt is something girls look forward to after every encounter. The question is, which athletes will become the future “competition athlete” and challenge for the belt?