Boys Varsity Track & Field – Chip Coffin ’21
Interviewed and written by Gale Gai ’22
GG: What events do you do?
CC: I race the 400 and the 800 mainly, which are middle distance events, so I have a unique mix of having a lot of sprint speed and also endurance for those longer sprinting events. I’ve been doing that since freshman year, which is when I started.
GG: What’s your journey with sports in general?
CC: Starting freshman year [of high school] off, I was mainly a soccer player in the fall and a ski racer in the winter, and I had an open slot in the spring that I had to fill. I figured that I was athletic enough in these other sports, so I would try track to see if I can find my place there. I started off as a distance runner with a pretty fast mile time of 4:48, which was under five minutes for my first ever mile. That’s when I believed that I have the ability to run track pretty well. Later in Junior year, I started running cross country to keep me in shape for the spring season, and I was still ski racing in the winter. Until two summers ago, I tore my ACL, which led me to missing my senior cross-country season. I came back, six months into my rehab, for my winter track season. Then, I lost my spring track season, which was pretty tough. So then, I was looking into PG years to further my track abilities, which was why I came here. Basically, in the events, I started off with distance, and as I did more and more workouts I found that I have more speed as well. Coming here to the Deerfield track team, I wanted to try out sprinting since I had already done so much distance work. From the sprint team, I found my way on to the 4×100 relay team, which was where we found victory in breaking the school record this past weekend.
GG: You mentioned breaking the 4×100 record, what are your thoughts about that?
CC: It was pretty incredible. We have some pretty great athletes on our relay team such as Elic, Donnie, and Christian, who is a sophomore. They are all great guys. I was super pumped because out of all the relays I could have been in I was not expecting the 4×100 because I was not typically a sprinter. I really wanted to try out new events this year, and they needed a fourth on the team, and I gladly filled the spot. It feels great to be able to leave a mark here and get my name up on that board.
GG: How do you get yourself ready on race day?
CC: I don’t have any specific regiments for race day. I mainly get a hearty breakfast in the morning and try to zone out and focus up. Usually, 30 minutes leading up to the race, I try to find a quiet area and zone in on the race. But there’s nothing that is too special that I focus on doing.
GG: What is the most valuable thing about track & field for you?
CC: I’d say one of the most important things about track to me is that in track, and in sports like track, you can really test your limits. Through training, you are pushing yourself further and further seeing how far your body can really go. I think it is pretty special through the course of training for track to see where and how good you can get to. For sports like lacrosse and soccer, it is not as definitive: you’re not getting PRs each race, game, or meet. So, you try to be the best athlete that you can be. Being here as a PG, it is pretty special to be able to be a role model for younger athletes. I was scheduled to be a track captain in my senior spring, but that fell through the cracks. To be here to be able to help freshmen and sophomores who are new to the sport and are taking interest in some of the main events, the 400 and the 800, it is pretty cool to be able to share some of my knowledge and experience with them to try and get them into being the best at their events.