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Sugar House Journal

Freshman Runner Incorporates Track into Sporting Buffet

Jun 14, 2016 08h56 ● By Bryan Scott

Geneva Humbert, freshman runner at Highland High School, leads the pack during a meet earlier this season. Humbert has improved her times with every race. – Chris Humbert

By Travis Barton | [email protected] 

When your Saturday includes a gymnastics meet, a soccer game and a ski competition some people might conclude its time for a break. 

Though Geneva Humbert, a freshman runner for Highland High School, has stopped with gymnastics, she’s replaced it with track. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. 

“I just go crazy if I can’t do something,” Humbert said. “I just always wanna be running or doing something active.” 

Often times coaches of specific sports will encourage young athletes to focus only on one sport all year. That concept has never appealed to Humbert, a former state champion in gymnastics. 

“I like doing a lot of sports because I get bored just doing one,” Humbert said. 

It’s not always easy, Humbert said, because sometimes she misses out on other things. 

“I want to do all my sports because I don’t want to do just one then I’ll burn out, but it’s just hard because all the girls on my soccer team play futsal and indoor together during the winter while I’m doing skiing,” Humbert said. 

Gary Rowles, Highland track and field head coach, said the trend over the past 15-20 years towards single sport athletes is slowly reversing back to multi-sport athletes with new information coming out on the body in kinesiology.

“The multi-sport athlete is the best athlete these days,” Rowles said.  

For example, Rowles said, skiing has helped Humbert to be a much better track athlete. 

“Skiing has helped her to develop her cardiovascular system as well as her endurance,” Rowles said. 

Humbert, who just missed out on qualifying for junior nationals in skiing as one of the younger competitors, said other sports like soccer and skiing have played a role in her ability on the track like the quickness she developed in soccer or her pain tolerance from skiing. 

“With skiing, all I fell is pain since its one of the sports you use all the muscles in your body so when I run I can deal with pain pretty well,” Humbert said. 

While Humbert no longer has those Saturdays from elementary school of three events in one day, she keeps busy running in the 800 and 1600 meters for the track team while also playing for her club soccer team. That doesn’t include the time she puts in training for skiing. 

Humbert said she loves doing high school sports and having already competed with the Highland girls soccer team last fall, thought track would be fun to do with her friends.

“I’ve always liked running but I’ve never tried doing it competitively,” Humbert said. 

Humbert said on her first day she felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of runners. 

“I thought ‘oh I’m gonna suck, I’ll be so bad,’ but then they [the coaches] kept moving me up with faster groups,” Humbert said. 

Between Humbert’s first and second meets, she shaved nine seconds off her time and has continued to shrink her times with every race. Now running is the only thing on her mind. 

“All I think about now is running and how I’m going to get better,” Humbert said. 

Going forward Humbert said she’d love to qualify for the Olympics in skiing and she’s also like to do it in college, along with her new sport. 

“Now that I really like track, I really wanna do both in college,” Humbert said.