EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Arik Skifstad is a coach’s dream.
“When it’s not soccer season, he’s in the weight room working on his speed and agility, quickness and strength. When it’s not track season he’s doing the same thing,” said Huskies track and field head coach Adam Sturgis. “He’s one of the hardest workers that I’ve ever had the privilege to work with.”
The Eau Claire North sprinter’s work ethic is impeccable. His time in the weight room and dedication to the track team has allowed for him to shave more than two seconds off his 200 meter dash time since he came in as a freshman for the Huskies.
“I just try to push everything into my start and then if I have anything remaining I just try to catch the dude ahead of me,” explained North senior sprinter Arik Skifstad.
Sprints are in the books at the finish line, but the race is won out of the blocks. It’s as much about the start as it is the finish and for those who go up against Arik Skifstad, they know that once the gun fires a lot of the time the battle is over runner up.
“You can have all the greatest talent in the world, but if you can’t get out of the blocks you’re going to get left in the blocks by a lot of guys and you’re not I don’t care how much speed you have you’re not going to be able to catch up to them,” added Coach Sturgis.
“If you get a bad start you basically are already a couple steps behind everybody else,” said Skifstad.
Skifstad excels out of the blocks and coupled with his top end speed he has run right into the record books at North High School. His time of 22.26 seconds in the 200 meter dash at the Red Devil Invite in Kenosha gave him his first individual track record for the Huskies.
“I was actually in lane 8, so there was only one person outside of me,” explained Skifstad. “I remember at the beginning of the race I had a really good block start, so that was already a good start. I passed him probably within the first three or four seconds and I just knew to keep going and hopefully I can cross the finish line before the school record and that’s what I did.”
More records are bound to be broken for Arik Skifstad and his teammates during his senior season. Their 4x100 meter relay has the potential to rewrite history and possibly reach state. Skifstad was a member of the record breaking, regional champion 4x400 meter relay last year and he’s always looking to help out his fellow runners.
“You can set records on the track, but when you have leadership like Arik where he not only offers it to the kids, but they respect him enough and listen to it that’s where his legacy is really left in our program.” - Sturgis
After graduation Arik Skifstad will join the Blugolds track and field team and hope to continue his sprinting success at the next level.