If Bree Walker could turn back time, she would have started her track career her freshman year, the senior from Atkins said.
“A friend of mine has been trying to get me on the team since my freshman year,” she said. “I wish I had done it all four years.”
Walker’s specialties were the field events where she threw the discus and shot put.
“I enjoyed the fact that there was a smaller team for the skilled events than the runners,” she said. “We had a tighter bond. I got to know everybody better.”
Throwing the shot and discus were new to Walker. “I had no idea what to expect going in,” she said. “The footwork for both was easy to learn. I caught on pretty fast.
“I got into a stride where I was comfortable doing it. I got better as the season progressed.”
Walker had to give up lacrosse, where she was a part of last year’s first-ever team at Atkins.
“My family has a bowling night every Wednesday,” she said. “I didn’t think it would be fair to the team if I missed a two-hour practice every week. I also have a bad knee.”
Throwing the shot put “was definitely my favorite because it was the one I caught on the fastest,” Walker said. “I typically enjoy the thing that I’m the best at.”
Walker credited her teammates and coach with helping her to improve throughout the season.
“I would get frustrated changing something every time to get used to it,” she said. “My teammates would help me and show me different ways.”
The one-hour practices were split in half on days before meets, according to Walker.
“We would practice 30 minutes on each event,” she said. “On workout days we would work on power throws and glides.”
She said lacrosse helped her in her new sport.
“It got me into shape,” Walker said. “With throwing you use all the muscles. It also helped with my confidence.”
Walker said it was tough to establish any personal goals before the season started.
“I didn’t really know what to expect so I couldn’t set any goals,” she said. “I just wanted to step outside my comfort zone and try something new. “I wanted to push myself and do something different. I feel satisfied. I feel like I did the best I could. I put 100% into everything I could.”
Walker said her parents were shocked when she told them she was changing sports.
“My mom (Michelle) said, ‘Really? You’re going to do that?’ They were happy I was doing something productive, stepping out and doing something different.”