A Coach’s Journey

    “Coach Q” is swapping out singlets for polos
    A Coachs Journey

         EEvery track event’s one unrivaled conclusion is a horrible, muscle-aching pain. For most athletes, staying away from that feeling is a no-brainer. However, that is just one aspect of the atmosphere that surrounds a track meet, one that keeps athletes addicted. The pop of a starting gun, the rush of adrenaline as you thrust your legs forward, and the relief and elation at the finish line. It’s what brings most athletes off of their comfortable couches and onto the starting line of pain, and it’s been stuck in girls’ sprints coach Quentin Swaim’s mind for more than a decade. 

         Swaim is no stranger to a runner’s high. An alumnus of Indiana State University, he ran three years of NCAA division 1 track and field for the Sycamores, with personal best times that cement him as one of the most experienced members of the coaching staff at Noblesville. He’s also a former Noblesville Miller, which Swaim says is one of two major reasons why he’s returned to his hometown, this time without racing spikes. The other reason for his return he gives credit to junior Mya Baker, an athlete who reached out to him during their time at the D1 training facility in Noblesville.

         “After a really good summer training program, [Baker] gave my contact information to [head coach] Pearce to get me back at Noblesville,” Swaim said. 

          Swaim’s time was not only spent with track and field, but as Baker’s personal trainer before transitioning to coach during the 2023 season. Because of their time together, the two have created a connection that’s impacted their results on the track. Baker says that Swaim’s presence creates a positive environment throughout the team.

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         “[Swaim is] someone you can count on. He’s a great addition to the team, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces,” Baker said. “If someone has a bad rep, he’s there to say, ‘let’s go, next one.’”

         Baker has not only led the Millers in the 100 meter sprint this season, she also set a school record in the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.96 seconds. Baker says she credits off-season work with Swaim as her personal trainer for her positive results. 

         “We really clicked in training, he understands how the mechanics of running work very well,” Baker said. “I saw improvements in all of my times, cutting half a second from my 100 [meter] time in the span of one summer.” 

         Baker isn’t the only one who’s felt Swaim’s impact this season. According to junior Gabby Wolf, “Coach Q” is an approachable mentor for the entire group. 

         “Since [Swaim] ran for Noblesville, he can definitely relate to us,” Wolf said. “He’s really good at keeping the correct mix of coach and friend.”

         Swaim claims his years spent as an athlete lacked the cooperative element that he needed for a more successful environment. As a coach, when he looks at the modern Noblesville track team, things look very different. Swaim says the girls, as defending IHSAA state champions, have remarkable chemistry.

         “[Noblesville] has a team this year. [Our goals are] way more team oriented,” Swaim said. “When I was going through it, it felt very solo.”

         Swaim’s hope is to help improve the girls’ times and overall change it for the better. He compiled a collection of memories from his days as a Miller, but he’s creating more, this time…with his athletes.

         “Track and field is a huge part of my heart. All the effort I gave it returned right back,” Swaim said. “Now, as a coach, I can’t wait to instill that in the next generation.” 

         From the accounts of both Baker and Wolf, it’s clear that Swaim is a coach who is loved by his runners. Baker says that his leadership extends further than just the red track at Beaver Materials Stadium, positively affecting each girls’ outside lives as well. 

         “He’s always willing to listen,” Baker said. “Even if something wrong happens during the school day, I can talk to him and he’ll say, ‘It’s okay, let’s run it out.’” 

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    About the Contributors
    Aiden Caddell
    Aiden Caddell, Staff Writer
    Aiden Caddell is a junior at NHS. This is his first year as a member of Mill Stream. He enjoys running, music, and watching his favorite sports teams. He can be contacted at [email protected].
    Becca Garber
    Becca Garber, Staff Writer
    Becca Garber is a junior at NHS with this being her second on Mill Stream. She enjoys hanging with friends, listening to music, and running. You can reach her at [email protected].