By Khadeemo Castello ’14
Boys track team captain Justin White ’13 has demonstrated a lot of leadership skills over this year’s track season. Coming back from an injury last year, White has worked his way to the top. Now juggling schoolwork and preparing for college, he worries about setting the right example for his team.
White was Midwood track’s fastest distance runner last year. As the team finished its 2011 cross country season, White ran the fastest time for his team and had led them to the State Championships. It was at this same State Championships where things went bad for our star runner. He suffered an ankle injury which put him out of commission. The injury was bad, and doctors told him he would not be able to run for a while. Just like that, Midwood lost one of its star runners.
“It was so upsetting and discouraging to hear that I couldn’t run,” said White, “I knew I was going to miss the upcoming indoor track season. I would have to sit on the sidelines and watch my team.”
Even though he couldn’t help his team on the track, White found ways to help off the track. While on his break from running he gave each of his teammate’s advice on how to get better and also encouraged them when they felt they did badly. Demonstrating qualities of a team captain, he did not let this setback stop him. White kept a regular workout routine so he kept in shape for when he finally returned to the track. A few months passed, and he finally returned to running and just in time for the outdoor track season, the last season of the year.
White said, “When I came back, boy did I have to work my butt off! If I wanted to realize my goal of becoming the city champ it would take a lot of hard work. I had missed a lot in PSAL and I had to catch up to my competition.”
He worked his way back to the top, attending practice every day and devoting 22 hours a week to track. It all paid off when he helped his 4×800 relay team take second place at the 2012 Outdoor City Championships, becoming the second fastest team in the city. He has not yet reached his goal as city champ but he continues to work hard striving for his goals and aiming for school records. He does this all while setting an example for his team showing them that hard work does pay off.
Now a senior, White said that he has to find time for schoolwork and track because balancing out track with two AP classes can be difficult. He hopes to use his athletic talents to get a scholarship to college.
“I just try to make sure my work ethic and my will to never give up rubs off on the team,” he said.