Game change: athletes switch it up

Danielle Joseph, Staff Writer

During her junior year, senior Molly Durow, varsity track and field runner, had to make a choice between continuing to play soccer, or switching to track and field. Although she loved her childhood sport, soccer, Durow’s passion for running led her to switch to track and field.

While running cross-country, Durow found out that she loved running. Because she wanted to pursue running in college, Durow decided to switch to track.

“Originally I was doing soccer, [which] is why I wasn’t on track, but I realized I [enjoyed] running more [and] I wanted to pursue running in college,” Durow said.

Even though Durow began track and field her junior year, she believes she isn’t at a disadvantage compared to others because of her experience with Cross Country.

“I feel it was good I had done cross country, but from a track perspective it would have been nice [if I started my freshman year] because I would have had more training for certain events,” Durow said.

Senior Ariana Freimuth, varsity lacrosse player, said joining her sport later than most of her teammates has only opened doors to new friendships. Freimuth joined her first lacrosse team in freshman year. Because she was new, she turned to her teammates for help in improving as a player.

“The people around me really challenged me to improve,” Freimuth said. “We [had] a couple players who [had] played travel, and that is [a] high expectation to live up to. So it pushed me to get better for [my teammates].”

Wendy Friemuth, Ariana’s mom, encouraged Ariana’s interest in playing lacrosse due to her own love of athletics and exercise. Wendy did not limit her daughter from experimenting with sports other than lacrosse. Ariana used to play basketball and currently plays field hockey. Even though she started later, Ariana enjoys her family connection to lacrosse and stuck with it.

“[My mom] was a [year-round] athlete [and] she [was a three sport athlete] in high school,” Ariana said. “She encouraged me to explore sports. I tried a lot of sports growing up and lacrosse was one of them.”

For Senior Brendan Tanaka, varsity cross country runner, a positive mindset has guided him when finding success. Tanaka began running cross country his final year at South. After having played tennis in years past, Tanaka said he had an urge to join a different sport his senior year, and followed his passion for running. During a tough meet at Warren Township, he asked his teammates for advice.   

“[My teammates] would teach me how to approach a curve when running,” Tanaka said. “[They said] you have to take it one person at a time,  stay in control at the beginning and as you start towards the end you have to start pushing yourself. Those kinds of tools have really helped me.”

Because Tanaka, Freimuth, and Durow are all relatively new to their respective sports, they believe that if you wish to start a new sport, you should not hesitate to do so.

“You just have to go out there and try it,” Tanaka said. “Just because you feel like you failed, it doesn’t necessarily mean [you did]. Just go out there and have fun.”