Janice Cole, Class of 2019 - Washington Technology Magnet
What are your personal records?
My personal records are:
100 meter dash: 12.66
200 meter dash: 26.01
400 meter dash: 58.68
Long jump: 15' 6.75"
How did you first get involved with track, and what other sports have you done?
I first got involved with track in 7th grade over the summer. I was always talking to my mom about wanting to do a sport. At first I wanted to do gymnastics, but then I thought about it more and changed it to track and field. So she went online and looked for different track teams, and she found a team called Track Minnesota Elite. I went to the practice and after the first day I wanted to quit, but she told me no, since I said I wanted to do a sport, then I'm going to do a sport. Even though I was sore the next day at practice and I kept telling myself I was going to quit, something kept motivating me to keep going to practice.
In 10th grade I played soccer, which was pretty fun since it was like another form of running, and then from 11th grade on I joined cross country. This was pretty challenging for me since I normally do sprinting events during track season, but it was pretty fun seeing how much my body could take.
Tell me about your team and what it is like to be an athlete for Washington technology magnet
It's kind of hard being an athlete for Washington Technology if you don't have the right mindset. When I first started track most people didn't even know about our school. Sometimes we'd go to a meet and I'd hear people asking what school is that whenever they saw our uniform, or I'd sometimes overhear other people talking trash about our team before any of the events even started to happen. When we did start racing they were all blown away by our performance. I'm truly proud to be a part of an athletic team like Washington. Our asphalt track is over 20 years old. Last week, we actually had ducks swimming in the pot holes in the first lane by the shot put area.
Seeing everyone come to practice everyday despite the shin splints they get from the track, motivates me to try harder so our school name is known. The Washington track team is a family. I have moved a lot in high school and have had many opportunities to switch schools, but I stayed at Washington because I love the environment. Everyone is so nice to each other and we strive to bring the best out of each other.
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?
Some of the people that have been most helpful to me in my athletic career is my mom, my coaches, and the track and field team. My mom made a lot of sacrifices for me to make sure that I attended all my after school activities and sports activities. If it wasn't for her I wouldn't be able to attend any of them or even go to the same school. I appreciate her so much for being supportive of the things I do. Without her, none of this will be possible. All of my coaches are so supportive of me even though they push us pretty hard sometimes but we all know it's all love. They push me because they know my potential and all they want is for me to see my true potential and not to cut myself short. They're always willing to put whatever it is that they're doing on hold just to help me out and I'll always be grateful for that and remember everything that they've taught me throughout my track years in college.
What is a challenge or challenges you have had to face as an athlete? How did you overcome them?
Some challenges that I'm still currently facing as an athlete are having to balance my school responsibilities, my sports responsibilities, and my family responsibilities. In 10th grade, we moved from near the school to Brooklyn Park to live with my uncle. My mom had to wake up every morning and make sure that I got to school on time. She was pregnant at the time, so having to wake up early in the morning put a lot of strain on her body, especially since she was suppose to be resting. We'd wake up at 5 am and start heading out since there was always traffic driving from Brooklyn park to school and back. She never switched my schools because she knows how much I enjoy going to Washington and she didn't want to take that away from me so she made those sacrifices just to keep me happy. Once my mom had my little sister, it was still the same thing with having to wake up early in the morning, but now my little sister was also added to the mix so she also had to come with us every morning.
While I was in school or at practice and my mom had stuff to do in Saint Paul, she wouldn't go home until I was done with practice just so she could save up on gas since she still wasn't working at that time. A couple months passed and we were finally able to move into our own place. Luckily I was able to get a bus out there to drop me off to school. My mom started to work night shifts so she could spend some time with me and my little sister, so while she was at work in the night I would stay home and babysit my little sister until my mom got off work in the morning, then I'd quickly get ready to catch the bus so I can run out the door when she got home. Sometimes, I was really tired during school, so I struggled to stay up during my classes a lot and my grades slowly started to go down. I went from an A-and-B student to getting C's. This year it's more difficult since my mom had another baby who's still in the hospital and I live in a different county since we moved again, so I am back to having to get dropped off to school again. It's been harder for me to stay free for track practice, so I normally stay every other day and try to do the workout at home by myself or do it during 5/10 since I help coach middle school track.
What are your main goals for this track season?
My main goals for this track season are that whenever I'm able to attending track practice I will put in all of my effort and practice to the best of my abilities, I'll go and see the trainer as much as I can to try and prevent any possible injuries this year. My number one academic goal is to try to keep my GPA up and pass the classes that are required for me to graduate.
Do you have any post graduation plans?
I plan on attending Bemidji State University and I'm going to run track and field for the team. I'm hoping to major in exercise science then I'll either attend Augsburg or St. Scholastica for their physician assistant grad program.
When not doing anything track related, what might we find you doing?
If I'm not doing track and field I'll most likely be homing babysitting my little siblings or trying to do my homework.
What advice would you give to younger athletes, or athletes just starting track?
No matter what your background is once you put your mind to it anything is possible. Don't let anyone tell you your not good enough to do something. And even if you fail try try again. Don't let others take away your happiness and always try to find time to thank the people who've supported you through your journey.