Highland Park, Sports

Athlete of the Week: 10 questions with Russell Czerwinski, Highland Park track and field

Russell Czerwinski was a high jumper, triple jumper and mid-distance runner for the Giants. He placed fifth in the IHSA state finals this season and will jump for Marquette University in college.

1. Do you have any prejump or premeet rituals?

Not really. I guess there is some breathing work but nothing super serious or superstitious. In my head, I always envision what the best jump is for me and then like three breaths — it’s always three.

2. Why is Marquette a good fit for you?

I really liked the school and it’s pretty small. And the coach is awesome there.

3. How did you get into high jump?

I played basketball and always liked the idea of being able to jump, and I also played volleyball, which is a lot of jumping. My junior year my friends — they all do track — asked me (to participate) and I said I’d do indoor and then volleyball when outdoor starts, but I ended up being pretty good so I stuck with it.

4. From then to now, what have you done to get better?

I watched a lot of video, just practicing form, and a lot of lifting and the mentality. Junior year I was always really nervous. This year, just the mindset shift, just ‘I can clear anything I put my mind to.’ I feel like I’ve worked for it.

5. If you could play another sport what would it be?

Probably volleyball. It’s really fun just hitting it and then the team aspect.

6. What would be your dream job?

I think going to the Olympics and just doing track for a living would be awesome.

7. What is your favorite thing to do with your free time?

Hanging out with my friends I guess or playing disc golf. There is one pretty good course (in Highland Park) and then at the beginning of the school year me and my friends drove like an hour to like the 10th ranked national course (Dellwood Park, Lockport).

8. If you are in Walgreens with a couple bucks, what are you buying?

Twin Snakes, the gummies.

9. What is something people don’t know about you?

I don’t know. I like to dance I guess. Just kinda messing around with friends.

10. How would you summarize your senior season?

It was really fun. A lot of (personal records) and trying new events too. They started putting me in the (4-by-400-meter run) and triple jump, as well.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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