Sophomore Kylee Bartlett of UR Track & Field is jumping her way into a great season. Bartlett’s performance was top notch at the RIT February Invitational last Friday, grabbing first place in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.13 seconds.
At this year’s meet at Brockport, Bartlett smashed a 27-year-old school record in the pentathlon, after scoring 3,412 points in the event.
When were you first interested in track and field?
I was first interested in track after having played softball in middle school for a season. Softball just wasn’t my sport, and my favorite part was the high intensity sprinting while stealing bases, so joining the track team just made sense.
What event do you enjoy the most and why?
I love the short sprint hurdles. There is so much that goes into learning the event, but when I get to the actual race, I can just zone out, attack, and trust my body to do the right thing at the right time. The adrenaline rush from looking at the sea of hurdles in front of you from your position in the starting blocks is a feeling that’s hard to compete with.
In a nutshell, was your first year in track and field what you expected, why/why not?
I didn’t really know what to expect from my first year of track. I had a pretty open mind. I just knew that I wanted to make a difference for the team in any way I could, so I was going to work my butt off to get there. I was excited to experience new coaching and a new team, to compete against the “big kids,” and to see where my hard work would put me by the end of the season. All in all, my first year was a terrific experience.
Does everyone on the team encourage each other and, if so, how?
UR Track is family to me. From the first captains’ practices, I knew I had people who would be there for me and encourage me no matter what. We all know how much work everyone puts in to make themselves, their teammates, and the team better as a whole. We might be the weirdest group of people you know, but there will always be someone there to make sure you are awake for morning lift or to catch the bus, someone to help you with your homework, or someone to be there screaming you on while coming down that final straightaway.
What do you hope to improve on?
In short, everything. That’s the beauty of track—you can always get better.
Do you keep up with professional athletes in track and field and if so who is your favorite?
My favorites are the recently retired power couple of Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton. They seem like awesome people, are superhuman, and I often watch videos of them crushing their workouts together as inspiration, because that never hurts before a tough 800 meter workout.
If you were a dog, what breed would you be and why?
Being a Golden Retriever would be pretty sweet. My Golden Retriever at home, Simba, is just the most funny, loving, snuggly, and awesome buddy I could ask for.