Girls Track wrestles for the honor of wearing the belt


Maureen Gambogi

The belt is handed off through generations of the North Penn Girls Track Team.

Ordinary medals and bland trophies are no match for the North Penn Girls Track Team. Only a wrestling belt could spice things up and add a unique twist to showing off the team’s achievements.

The inspiration for the wrestling belt sparked from Miami Football’s turnover chain. After a big play on defense, the athlete that takes part in this achievement is gifted with the turnover chain to show off that they took a big role in the team’s success. After seeing this, the head coach of the track team, Brandon Turner, wanted to pass on this display of success by having a belt of his own to give to “the athlete of the meet” after each competition. Having an item to show off at school and having the belt to acknowledge the athlete’s successes allows for publicity of the track team to expand.

“We have always had an ‘athlete of the meet’ as long as I have been here. The reward used to be a trophy or just an honor, but I wanted to do something a little more formal so we could have our own version of a turnover chain,” Coach Turner explained.

After each competition, a poll is spread across the track team to determine who was the “athlete of the meet”. Each bus ride home from the team’s meets, nominations are set in place and voted on to crown the winner of that week’s “athlete of the meet”. The runner ups of the poll will get prized an “atta girl” and eventually “the athlete of the meet” will be given the belt.

“Some really good athletes have been given this belt and that’s one of the coolest things. State champions in the 400 meter, the long jump, relays, kids who run at Penn and Boston and our All Americans have pictures with the belt from five years ago and we try to keep building on that,” Turner elaborated.

Having the team choose who was the number one person that over achieved their goals that meet out of the entire team helps build a foundation for the athletes and their successes. This honor is something that will make the athletes work harder to achieve their goals and do the best that they can. Getting to show off that you triumphed releases a positive and motivated attitude throughout the whole team. If the athletes bring the belt into school, the entire team will get off of their abs exercises for at least one practice.

“I always feel like track and field is something that goes under the radar. Having something that the girls can bring into the school is another way to give the team recognition,” Turner said.

I always feel like track and field is something that goes under the radar. Having something that the girls can bring into the school is another way to give the team recognition”

— Coach Brandon Turner

Even with the temptation of getting out of abs, most girls are too embarrassed to wear the belt and draw attention to themselves. The belt is very authentic looking and has a shine like no other. Most girls bring out the belt in classes where they feel the most comfortable and feel the least judged. As long as they take out the belt and get a picture with it, no abs will be included in the workout.

“Everyone looks at you and says ‘Oh my gosh, what is that’ since it’s so big, sparkly, and embarrassing, but I did wear the belt and got out of abs. Overall, I think the belt is a good thing and it gets the team motivated,” Junior athlete, Taylor Forbes, justified.

The crowning of the belt is something that the girls look forward to after each meet. The question is, which athletes will become the future “athlete of the meet” and face the belt?