JPII Starts a new Track and Field Program
This February, Pope John Paul II High School welcomes a track and field program, the School’s newest sport. Joining the coaching staff are Head Coach Scott Carter, a former University of Wyoming athlete, and Larry Weber, whose career includes coaching a local cross country team to eight Washington State
High School championship titles and coaching a Paralympic sprinter to a gold medal. For JPII, starting a track and field program is a big step, and they look forward to a large turnout this season. Coach Carter and Coach Weber sat down for a Q&A to tell the community about their enthusiasm for the sport.
Q: After having coached JPII’s cross country team to State, what potential do you see in the track and field team that is forming?
Coach Carter: I think that we have a lot of potential, not just because we have a cross country team that went to state, but also because we have track and field athletes that competed for their public high schools and they were very competitive in those. I think as a whole, our team will be a mixture of kids
that are very experienced, or who have little to no experience, but all who have much potential and I think that we can accomplish some amazing things this year at our league meet, at districts, and even at State as a team.
Coach Weber: The cross-country team had a good year this past fall with a lot of personal bests on the state championship course. This tells me that when the stakes are high, the great character of JPII student-athletes shines through. The potential of the first ever JPII Track and Field team is pretty amazing. There are many great student-athletes at JPII who, if they work hard and are consistent in
training, will surprise a lot of people this year.
Q: Coach Carter, after competing for the University of Wyoming and at the NCAA National Championships, you have experienced a lot of the sport. What would you say is your favorite part about track and field? Coach Weber, you have coached athletes to gold medals and have been nationally ranked as a runner yourself. What is your favorite part about track and field?
Carter: My favorite part about track and field is the community that forms. During meets, everybody gets a chance to talk with each other, whether the jumpers are talking with one another before their jumps, or the sprinters before their races. Everyone is rooting for each other, and not against each
other. We will get to know the athletes in the SeaTac League very well, and we’re really excited about building a community with them and within the school.
Weber: My favorite part of track and field is seeing student-athletes break their personal barriers. I believe you can always do more in sport and life than you initially believe. With a strong faith in God all things are possible. Seeing student-athletes break through to a personal best is inspiring to me and to all the people around them.
Q: Coach Weber, you have been a running coach at a couple different schools. What makes JPII athletes stand out to you?
Weber: The character of student-athletes at JPII is inspiring to me, and the support system at the school is a huge blessing. The administration, parents, and staff are very focused on the mission of JPII and it is apparent that each of these groups are working together daily to help each student-athlete reach their
God-given potential in all areas of the high school experience.
Q: What are you two most looking forward to this season?
Carter: I’m looking forward to the athletes that have never done something that will find a spot in track and field – they’ll find an event that they really enjoy competing in. I am also eager to see the smiles of the athletes who never thought they could.
Weber: Since I am new to JPII, I am most looking forward to getting to know everyone more and building relationships. I am also looking forward to helping the community of JPII establish new and meaningful traditions in the track and field program. In addition, I look forward to designing and customizing workouts for every athlete I coach so in some small way I can help each person reach their potential.
My Track Experience:
My name is Molly Zepeda and I am a multi-sport athlete at Pope John Paul II High School, where I compete in volleyball and basketball. This year I am thrilled to participate in JPII’s new track and field program! As JPII had not yet formed a track team last year, I was blessed with a great opportunity to run
for Olympia High School. There, I was able to meet new people and learn more about hurdling, sprinting, and conditioning. Even though I will not be running as a Bear this year, I am very proud to say that I will be sporting the blue and gold as an Eagle! I have been hoping ever since I started track in fifth grade that
my high school would start a track team – and here we are. A new program at the school will allow students to bond even more and develop strong relationships with their dedicated coaches. I hope that you can catch the Eagles in action this spring!