SIBLEY, Iowa -- For every athlete, whatever the level, it’s great to be part of a great team. When it works right, great coaches and teammates bring out the best in every individual athlete. And the athlete puts excellence right back into the team.
In the northwest corner of Iowa there is a boys high school track and field team that challenges itself to be the best. And Rylan Marco, a key member of that team -- the Sibley-Ocheyedan Generals -- every day buys into the idea that excellence is not only preferred, but reachable.
It has been the Generals’ goal this spring, said Marco, to win every meet it enters, and also to send every boys relay team and at least a couple of individuals to state.
Those are lofty goals, but not too shy of the mark. True, the Generals placed second, not first, in one meet so far this season. But they have, indeed, been a first-place fixture in the rest. And in one meet, they set a school record for most points.
We’ll have to wait to see what becomes of the state tournament, but Marco -- who also competes in high school basketball -- is doing his part to make it happen.
One of several returning Generals with state track and field meet experience, the senior speedster competed in the 4x200-meter relay, the 4x100-meter relay and the sprint medley relay in Des Moines last year as a junior. This spring, he’s having more relay success while going for firsts in his two best individual events, the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Last week, he teamed up with fellow Generals JonLee Johnson, Jack Carlson and Dalton Hatting at the Siouxland Conference meet for a new school record (44.58) in the 4x100.
Next year, Marco plans to attend the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls where he hopes to major in finances and marketing.
The Globe took Marco aside recently for a Drill feature. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sampling of the interview:
QUESTION: What do you believe is the most valuable advice you’ve heard in your athletic career?
ANSWER: “The most valuable advice I’ve received from coaches and other teammates is probably ‘Don’t give up. Just go to the very end.’”
QUESTION: Tell us about your interests outside of sports.
ANSWER: “Outside of (my high school sports) I find myself golfing or fishing. I own a kayak, so I like to go out there and fish in my kayak. Outside of that, I’ll usually go play some pickup basketball games with friends.”
QUESTION: What’s the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know?
ANSWER: “The most unusual thing about me is, I’m a little afraid of the dark. I don’t like to admit it. … I watched a movie when I was little and there was this creature that only came out at night. So ever since then I used to hide under my covers. I’ve gotten out of that stage now, though. I don’t hide under the covers any more.”