By Will Baskin-Gerwitz
Her stride is a fluid motion, which looks equally fitting weaving among other runners on the track or cutting up the turf with a ball. Lizzy Danhaklâs â07 repetitive steps cannot be penned into one sport, carrying her from the winterâs soccer field to the springâs track and a strong senior debut for a middle distance runner in her first year on the team.
Danhakl has played on the girlsâ soccer team for all four years in high school but, after the season ended in February, realized her high school career was finished. Searching for another place to fuel her competitive urge, she came to the track team, becoming another one of the schoolâs âcrossoverâ athletes.
But few are as successful at picking up their new sport as Danhakl has been. Running in such events as the 400 and 800 meters as well as the mile, and several relays, she immediately became the teamâs number one miler, and has been named one of runners of the meet five times this year as well as setting a school record in the 3200 meter relay.
âIn soccer youâve got to run at the point where youâre almost physically dead, where it seems you canât go on,â she said. âItâs the same in track.â
In addition to the physical qualities she has picked up from soccer, many intangibles have followed Danhakl to the track, such as the same competitive streak that drove her to pick up track in the first place.
Though Danhakl joined the team with a lot of raw talent, and is one of the best on the tack team in terms of raw athletic ability, she still had a lot to learn.
Still, though, Danhakl has become one of the teamâs strongest runners. Her best times for the girlsâ 400 and 800 meter races this year rank second only to Laura Meadors â08, and she leads the team in her other events.
âWe have such a great middle distance history, especially in the last five years,â Koolsbergen said. âAt a lot of schools sheâd be holding more records in something.â