If you were to ask a coach from any sport to build a model athlete, competitiveness and attitude would rank at or near the top of the list of attributes they would choose. Senior track athlete Bobby Kallien possesses both of these characteristics and that is why he is this week’s Oswego East Co-Athlete of the Week.
As a 3 year member of the track program and a 4 year member of the football program, Bobby understands what it takes to win. He was part of a senior football program that was the first team in school history to reach and win a game in the state playoffs, and has been elected a captain this spring for track. During the indoor track season, Bobby qualified for Prep Top Times for the second straight year and finished 6th in the 60 meter dash, as well as being a part of a 3rd place 4 X 200 relay, which also qualified for Prep Top Times and broke a school record.
The early successes enjoyed by Bobby and his teammates are helping push them through a spring season they hope will culminate in a conference title. As for individual goals, Bobby says he wants to “set personal records in the 100 and 200 meter, place in conference, and ultimately make it downstate.”
Head track Coach Aaron Kimpton, who Bobby describes as someone who is easy to get along with but will make sure you know about it if you get off task, sees a high level of value in having Bobby as a captain for the 2014 campaign. “Bobby is a leader first by his work ethic in practice,” says Kimpton. “He is constantly focused on making himself and his teammates better.”
With only 4 coaches in the program, having a captain who is able to make sure people are on task is imperative to success. “Because all levels work and train together, Bobby has been an important part of instilling the right mentality in the younger athletes,” says Kimpton. He goes on to say, “[Bobby] is always willing to help out a lower level athlete to make them better. Because he is working with all levels, he has a great relationship with the younger guys and that makes for a much closer team.”
Posting a G.P.A. over 3.0 and an ACT score of 28, Bobby will surely find his competitive spirit useful when he attends Illinois Wesleyan and studies business and marketing. Bobby also plans on playing for the Titan football program in the fall as well. His advanced health teacher, Michael Heath, envisions Bobby achieving a lot of success when his time at East is through. “For the people that get to know Bobby and understand his personality, he has great charisma and this can be a great tool in the business world,” says Heath. He goes on to say that “[Bobby] is a very dedicated athlete and [he] strives to improve in all aspects of his life. I look forward to hearing about Bobby in the future as a great student-athlete for the Illinois Wesleyan Titans.”
Although replacing Bobby’s leadership in the football and track program will not be easy, his coaches will remain hopeful that the example he has set and knowledge he has passed down to the younger generations will allow both programs to continue their upward trend of success. “Set a goal early in school,” says Bobby. “Don’t be shy about that goal and stick to it. If people tell you it’s not attainable, don’t listen.” Future and current Wolves would be smart to heed the advice of someone who has achieved so much during his time at East, and Bobby will be sorely missed in the fall.