Above: Abigail Randolph is the Knutson Student Athlete of the Week
“There’s something to be said for someone who comes every day, never complains, realizes she’s part of a team, and has the will to become a better athlete.”
Columbia Central Head Track Coach Craig Vitale
By Eli McKown
The beginning of the track season is the epitome of random. One day can be 65 degrees and sunny, but the next 40 degrees with whipping wind and rain. For Columbia Central senior Abigail Randolph, her first track meet was the latter. This did not slow down Randolph, as she participated in the 400 meter dash, 4×400 meter relay, and the 4×200 meter relay. A four year track athlete, Abigail also participates in basketball and volleyball, but Golden Eagles Head Track Coach Craig Vitale praised Randolph’s dedication to track.
“Abigail has been steady over the years. Track rarely has runners go for all four years, let alone work as hard as she does in practice. This is not her premier sport, but she puts the work in every day.”
At Columbia Central’s first track meet, even the parents were bracing from the cold. Spectators were wrapped in blankets and tried to move around to keep warm This did not seem to affect Abigail as she kept a strong mind and ran her best. Randolph spoke on how she blocks out outside distractions.
“I stay really positive throughout a meet and I don’t psych myself out.”
Coming into her senior year, the young Golden Eagle has taken on the role of a team leader in what is a very young team.
“I am very encouraging to my teammates and it’s important to make this the best season it can be. In track, a lot of times you don’t always have all of your best friends and I have been able to make lots of new friends and it makes for a really good time,” says Abigail.
Coach Vitale also praised Abigail’s leadership ability.
“There’s something to be said for someone who comes every day, never complains, realizes she’s part of a team, and has the will to become a better athlete. What you hope is that the younger athletes watch her do that.”
Abigail’s main event is the 400 meter dash, and her best time is 1:07. Randolph hopes to improve each and every meet and beat that time. Another goal is for her 4×400 relay team qualify to the individual state meet. Her biggest motivator to reach these goals? Her dad, Ron Randolph, who also happens to be the Assistant Coach for the Golden Eagles.
“My dad is definitely the biggest influence in my life as he is my dad and a coach. He has helped me the most with running and is the reason I run today.”
After high school, Randolph plans to attend Western Michigan University and pursue a business degree. Although she does not plan to compete in sports at the college level, Abigail plans to play intramural sports in Kalamazoo to have fun during her studies.
As the end of her high school career approaches, the Golden Eagle looks poised to make the best out of her final season, and after braving the inclement weather in her first meet, it is clear nothing will stop her.