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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Justice in Slow Motion

SM King’s Page
Protesting students on varsity track

Track and field is not a single sport but a collection of disciplines, each with its own set of skills and requirements. Though oftentimes the sport has been pushed to the side and labeled as not a “real sport,” the sport actually encompasses a wide range of skill sets that calls for athletes to be in peak condition. San Marcos’ Track and Field team is no different to this in their challenges and efforts but, what if these athletes decided they were not going to give it their all and rather, protest against these given ideals? 

Varsity runner completing relay in slow motion.

In many cases where this has turned out to be the case, coaches will be outraged for a second but recover, quickly put in the next athlete to take their place. However, if everyone on the team was protesting? What would they do then? 

It was a warm, sunny day, perfect for a track meet this past weekend on March 16 and the track team ventured to Oaks Christian for the Maurice Green Invite. As the gun fired, echoing around the stadium for the first event to begin, all those donned in red and blue took off from the blocks, only not in the way you might expect. Throughout the entirety of this meet in spite of tireless screams and threats from coaches, the athletes only ignored them, running and even jumping every single event in slow motion. 

For this was the first time this has ever happened in not only San Marcos Track but in all of sport’s history, the responses (if they were able to even form one) were varied. 

Joshua Duncan, a junior on Varsity track said this about the protest, “I was gooning.”

And head coach, Marilyn Hantgin is appalled at the event to say the least. 

Students hold up signs.

“I cannot believe this has happened. Not in all my years of coaching would I have ever expected this.” 

As the sun set over the track that day and coaches shook their hands with a frustrated sigh, the last runners crossed the finish line at the most antagonistically slow paces. Though the controversies surrounding the events are swirling, one thing was abundantly clear, the Slow Stride for Justice is one that is unconventional, but impossible to ignore. 

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About the Contributor
Baylie Bingham, Sports & Social Media Editor
Baylie is a junior at San Marcos High School. This is her third year doing the King's Page, first as a staff writer, then as graphics editor, and now as sports editor as well as social media. She loves to write about politics, the environment, and local events in both San Marcos and Santa Barbara as a whole.
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