Tri-athletes at OHS give their take


Nejla Zulic and Alyssa Johnston

Three tri-athletes demonstrate their athletic abilities in their respective games.

There are 34 OHS students who are classified as tri-athletes this year. This small handful of students play a sport every season, and many of them pair their athletic endeavors with extra training and, of course, their schoolwork.

Four seniors, Sarah Hinkamp, Mallory Guentz, Lexi Ezell and Natalie Baker, have played three sports every year of their high school career. Natalie plays field hockey, water polo and swims, as well as plays club water polo.

“Especially during the fall, I am very busy. I’ll get up, go to practice or [a] game and then I go straight to [club] practice and then I don’t get home until 11,” Natalie said.

Natalie added that having an activity every day after school can get pretty stressful.

“There have been times where I’ll just take a break off school because I needed to just catch up on my homework,” Natalie said.

Although these athletes play a sport every season, most of them have a certain time of year that feels more relaxing than others.

“My off-season is definitely the spring,” Natalie said. “Even though I’m practicing six days a week for polo, that’s the one time that I don’t have club polo.”

Although it can be stressful, Natalie loves her sports, especially water polo.

“It’s just all surrounded by really nice people, and we can be aggressive in the water, but we can know we don’t actually mean it,” Natalie said. “We actually love each other and we just have that good bond outside of the pool. Plus, it’s a really fun sport because no one really plays it.”

Sami Simokaitis (11) is another tri-athlete. She plays volleyball, basketball and runs track and field; however, she prefers volleyball over the others.

“I feel like [volleyball] has the biggest, most family-like community. We put a lot of effort into bonding as a team,” Simokaitis said, “and that sport is my most favorite to play. It’s the most fun.”

Simokaitis also played club volleyball until this most recent season.

“Without club volleyball, I have time to do other things. Like this year, I got a job for track season just because I didn’t have time [previously],” Simokaitis said.

Similarly to Natalie, Simokaitis has found that spring feels like her off-season.

“I do track because it’s kind of more of a relaxed, chill sport, so track is basically my off-season,” Simokaitis said.

Other students, like Sydney Baker (11), find that they really aren’t able to relax much over the course of the school year.

“I’ve never had an off-season or like breaks. Usually, the breaks we would have are taken up by districts for the sport before it,” Sydney said. “But I’m kind of used to it by now.”

Sydney cannot recommend this kind of experience to future student athletes.

“I wouldn’t do it,” Sydney said. “It’s kind of a lot of stress.”

Others offer some inspiring advice.

“Just don’t give up,” Natalie said. “It’s a lot of hard work, you’ve got to know time management—you definitely need to know time management—and just don’t overwork yourself.”