After joining the track and field team as a way to stay in shape during the football offseason, Batavia thrower Sebastian Vermaas found a new passion. The senior works tirelessly to improve his throwing with the hopes of breaking the school discus record. At the May 3 Kane County boys track meet, Vermaas placed first in the discus throw with a distance of 154-10. Head coach Dennis Piron says Vermaas is a “great kid, hard worker and really improved.”
Name: Sebastian Vermaas
Age/year in school: 18/Senior
Hometown: Haarlem, Netherlands
Sport: Track and Field
Throws: Discus and Shot Put
How long have you participated in track and field? Two years.
What do you love most about track and field?
The feeling of self-accomplishment following a successful performance. It is a great feeling knowing that all of the hard work and dedication leads to progress. Another thing I love is watching my teammates perform well. I am always proud of my friends and teammates after they reach their goals, something that really shows that this isn't just an individual sport, but a sport where it feels good to work alongside guys and witness the accomplishments of one another.
What are your goals for this season? How will you achieve them?
To challenge myself to be the best thrower I can be. I hope to break the school record in the discus throw (172-3) and to possibly place at the state track meet. I will continue to work every day at perfecting my technique and getting stronger in the weight room. I watch a lot of film and try to use it to improve on my technique.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
The state track meet (if I qualify). For now I will take the time I have to continue progressing and work to reach my goals.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
Before going into the discus ring, I tap each foot on the ground three times. If I don't do it, I feel as if I won't throw well. Aside from rituals, I try to just do ordinary things any athlete does like receive proper sleep and prepping for my throws. I love to watch videos of great discus throwers the night before a big meet and envision a big throw the following day.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
Reese Hoffa [Olympic shot putter]. Being an orphan, he went through a lot of adversity to be the best shot put thrower the U.S. has. I hope to one day be able to reach the same stage. As any football or basketball player has a dream of becoming a professional athlete, it is my dream to one day participate in the Olympics. It is fun to ponder such an idea and a great way to motivate myself to be the best thrower that I can be.
If you didn’t participate in track and field, what would you be doing?
I probably would be playing rugby. A lot of my friends tried to get me to play rugby, but after last season, I decided to finish my senior year participating in track. I love competition and staying fit, and so I would most likely be doing another sport if I was not doing track and field.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Joakim Noah. He is a hard worker and inspires his teammates to perform their best. Although he is currently injured, he continues to play for those who support him and those guys he works with. He makes no excuses and is someone who I believe all athletes should look up to. I love watching him play.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside track and field?
Watching other sports, staying active and spending time with those close to me.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings." – William Blake
If one uses his own talents, and with hard work and dedication, he can accomplish anything. There is no limit to the success that is the result of heart and passion.
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