With half of the season in the rearview mirror, men’s indoor track and field have been relying on the legs of standout athletes like juniors Vincent Delle and Justin Bishop along with a strong 400 meter relay.
The team, ranked third in the Atlantic Region by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), has no plans of slowing down.
“I feel we’re poised to do well at the conference championship here in two weeks,” Head Coach Dustin Dimit said. “We’ve been gradually [getting better] since we’ve got back from break and things are starting to click how we want them to.”
But the team has a key piece whose legs aren’t currently a factor of his contribution to their success.
Junior middle distance runner and team captain Mitchel Baron has been battling injury for a long time. This year he’s been dealing with plantar fasciitis, which is a foot injury where inflamed tissue runs across the bottom of the foot.
Baron isn’t a stranger to injury. In his junior year of high school, he had a compartment syndrome which he eventually got surgery for.
It’s always tough catching the injury bug during a season but, despite that, Baron has still contributed by using his best quality: being a leader.
“My spot on the team has been to lead and try to get these guys to do what they need to do and at the same time focus on their grades,” Baron said.
Even though Baron has been battling with these injuries, it doesn’t stop him from working as hard as he can to get back on the track.
“I’ve been going through the trainers every day and just doing the little things I need to do like stretching,” Baron said.
This type of committed teammate and leader goes a long way in a sport like track, especially when you have a 56-man roster.
Baron has a passion that keeps him close to the team and wanting to be involved, whether that means by competing or leading by example.
“It’s always been a big part of my life. My father [Jerry Baron] was a runner growing up,” Baron said. “Running is not really a sport to me. It’s a lifestyle.”
The Profs will kick off the second half of the season this Friday on Valentine’s Day as they will run in the Fasttrack National Invitational in Staten Island, New York. The team hopes to see Baron back soon and are rooting for him to continue the running lifestyle.
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