By Mary Shields
Sabrina Schlenker hears the crowd cheering as she waits for the running mark. When she begins her event she can feel the wind on her face as she sprints to be the first one to leap over the hurdle. When she finishes, smiles spread across every track member’s face. Schlenker has just finished another impressive race, showing every school what it looks like to be a Batavia High School athlete.
Schlenker is a current sophomore at BHS. She is on the varsity girls track team. She has been a member of the team since freshman year and has qualified for state in various events. Freshman year she qualified with the 300-meter hurdle, 4×100-meter relay, and 4×200-meter relay. This year her main event is the 300-meter hurdles, an event that she is currently ranked fifth in BHS history. She is training for the long road to sectionals and then state. Each practice and each meet Sabrina keeps getting closer to breaking her own personal record and qualifying for state once again.
“My best time so far for the 300 hurdles is a 46.21 but hope to PR Thursday at sectionals in the low 45s which would put me fourth in Batavia history,” Schlenker said.
This year at conference, Schlenker split a 59-second record during the 4×400-meter relay. Although she has not broken any overall records, Schlenker said she, “set the Metea Valley invite record in the 300 hurdles freshman year and set the freshman 400-meter indoor record.”
Recently at the North Central College meet, Schlenker and her relay team were the 4×200-meter relay champions. Schlenker also has helped lead the Bulldogs to many other victories throughout the season. The girls’ track team were the Upstate Eight champions. Schlenker placed third overall in the 300-meter hurdles. Her 4×400-meter relay team consisting of Davinia Wilson, Erin O’Brien, and Marygrace Golden also placed second.
Excelling in track does not come overnight. Sabrina puts in many hard hours of work to make sure she can perform to the best of her abilities. Practices are not a breeze for any track athlete either.
A typical practice depending on the day consists of warming up with the athlete’s event and either having an interval day which is a workout or practicing with their specific event and doing tech. Schlenker also runs track for a club called TMS and loves it. The additional practice helps her train for the school season.
“I have run club track with TMS to practice outside of track and made many track friends through that who have helped me so I sometimes practice with them outside of track,” Schlenker said.
Each and every practice she is willing to help others and is welcoming to everyone she meets. She also pushes others to be the best they can be.
“Sabrina is super friendly and a really supportive teammate. She really tries her best to push others to perform to the best of their abilities,” said teammate Myra Sapit
On top of managing club track and the school team, Schlenker also is an honors student. The track coaches urge the student in student-athlete and make sure their team is performing well on the track and also in the classroom.
“I do not think it’s too hard to balance track and school as the coaches are very understanding and help to maintain solid grades for the athletes,” Doggett said.
Schlenker’s goal is to continue her successful track career in college. While there, she hopes to hurdle/sprint. Although she has a long road ahead of her, with hard work and dedication she will be able to get to the college level.
To Schlenker, track is so much more than a high school sport. Through track she met many lifelong friends and created many memories. She is excited about what is to come throughout the rest of her track career.
“The thing I love most about track is the accomplishment of running a good time or running a personal best in a race,” she said. “It’s the best thing to know that your hard work is paying off when your times are getting faster. The friendships that are made are priceless because in track we’re pretty much a family because you see your teammates every day.”