In his Upper Year, Kareem Hill ’19 began Indoor Track & Field after playing on Andover Junior Varsity Basketball team for two years. After starting the sport later in his Andover career, Hill has had worked hard every day in practice to develop his skills and become an important runner on the team, according to teammate Alex Oder ’21.
Oder wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “He strives to improve his form whenever possible, even if it may not have a significant effect on his results. Often, I notice him playing around with the measurements of the starting blocks in hopes of improving his time, if only by a little bit.”
Hill’s work ethic has led to him setting personal records, which has helped to inspire many members of the team, according to Oder.
“Kareem mostly leads by example. The records he sets encourage competition among the other members of the team and help give teammates a goal for self-improvement,” said Oder.
Due to his hard work and strong leadership, Hunt is The Phillipian’s Athlete of the Week.
How did you start Indoor Track & Field?
Before [my Upper Year] I was actually a basketball player. I didn’t make Varsity, so I was on JV. But I was naturally fast, like I would do races just for fun when I was with my friends, and it turned out I beat all of them. So somebody recommended me to do Track and Field, but I didn’t listen to them. And after I got injured in basketball, I said that it was probably it for me [in basketball] and I switched to Track & Field… and I fell in love with it.
What has made you love the sport?
I sort of like the individuality in Track & Field. You can rely on yourself. If you win, it’s your win. Even though there are some people behind you, you ran the race by yourself, and you can enjoy the win individually. On the other hand, if you lose, it’s not anybody else’s fault, and it empowers you to work harder and encourages you to take the steps necessary to become whatever you want to be.
What is your favorite meet that you have gotten to compete in?
I would say [the last meet against Governor’s] because before the meet started, we got these meet schedules. It showed us what events we were in, and I was in every event except the event I wanted to be in because the week before, I was beat in the 300-Meter event. So I actually had to have a talk with [my coach]. I had to say, ‘listen, this guy beat me last week, can you put me in the 300 this meet?’ And she said yes, but that I would be running the maximum number of events possible. I said, ‘it doesn’t matter, I want to push myself this meet, and so instead of running the three events they told me to, I ran an extra event. Even though I didn’t beat him, it showed me just how dedicated I was to pushing myself and challenging myself to do something that I never thought that I would be able to.
Who has inspired you the most in your track career?
I met Coach Collins in tenth grade or eleventh grade, and I never really talked to him. But last year, when I ran track and field, someone said to me, ‘get in touch with him. He will be able to help you because he is the conditioning coach.’ When I got in touch with him, [I realized] he’s really hype to help students out, and just having that encouragement in my corner really pushed me to run as fast as I can.
Who’s your favorite superhero?
Iron Man, definitely, just because of the cool things that he’s able to do, like build his own suit.