CEDAR RAPIDS — Working through injuries is what will help one Cedar Rapids Xavier athlete make it through the season.
Junior Sam Triplett is starting her track season the same way she ended last season — with injuries. She is dealing with an L5 fracture, facet joint arthritis and bulging discs, which are causing hip problems.
But instead of giving up, Triplett has modified her workouts to be able to work through her injuries.
“I have learned that with these injuries I cannot work around it, I have to work through it,” Triplett said.
The hard work and adjustments of Triplett’s training does not go unnoticed.
“Sam is one of the hardest workers I have had the privilege of coaching,” girls’ track and field Coach Korey Johnson said.
Johnson helps Sam, and the team, mainly in sprints and hurdles.
“Sam obviously leads by example with her hard work ethic,” Johnson said. “She is also selfless and was a big part of our shuttle hurdle success last year.”
Last year, the shuttle hurdle team placed third at state.
“Other girls may not have gotten reps in that event if it were not for Sam running, even when her body was less than 100 percent,” Johnson said. “Even though she did not get to run in that event at district or state, I am not sure the team wouldn’t have been ready to compete at the level they did at the end of the year without her impact throughout the entire season.”
Triplett has not only had problems with track, but everyday life.
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“They told me I will have problems with it for the rest of my life, because my injuries are permanent and will not ever fully heal,” Triplett said. “The most trouble I have with recovery is putting boundaries on myself. I cannot stand or sit for too long. I do way less gymnastics than I want, and I cannot run as fast as I want for track.”
With the boundaries the injuries have set for Triplett, she still attempts to give it her all in order to support her teammates.
“If I am with a group my main priority is making sure I am giving 100 percent because my teammates deserve nothing less than my best effort, even if my back hurts,” Triplett said. “It is also important for me to be supportive because my team encourages me and makes me laugh even when I am in a lot of pain.”
Some of Triplett’s goals are to compete in hurdles again and hopefully make it to state.
“I look for her to continue to work hard this year and improve on her technique in the hurdles to make an even bigger impact on the team,” Johnson said. “I know she has big goals for herself and teammates. I cannot wait to see what this year brings for her as well as the team.”
The Saints open the outdoor season Tuesday at Iowa City West, starting at 4:30 p.m.