More Than Athletes

By Kayla Ratliff, sophomore


Clubs, practice almost every day, meets every week, and a running injury that isn’t going away anytime soon are the things Hank Phillips deals with 24/7.

Coming back from an injury is difficult, especially if you’re involved in activities like sports and clubs, but with positive energy, hard work, and strong sibling bonds, senior Hank Phillips is overcoming his. Phillips is currently dealing with an uncommon running injury called high hamstring tendinopathy, damage and inflammation in the hamstring where it connects to the ischial tuberosity, most likely from overuse. People with the injury report deep buttock or posterior thigh pain.

The only way to recover from the injury is to stop running completely while it heals, which could take months. But because Phillips is involved in track, he says his goal is to make his hamstring feel as good as possible, so that he can still run. He is focusing  on a lot of cardio, or aerobic exercise as well as rehab weightlifting to strengthen the muscles being affected. Even though he is being affected physically, Phillips is at the top of his game mentally.

“I am still giving 100% effort to the season and am already seeing progress in my times since the beginning of the season,” Phillips said.

Phillips is involved in eight school-based activities, including being the captain of the EHS track & field team; he focuses on running the 800 meter and 1600 meter dash. He is also involved in cross country and the National Honor Society, of which he is the vice-president. Outside of school, he likes to play a fair amount of music; he enjoys playing the piano and drums as well as singing.

“I do them because I love them, first off, but also just to get better because I think everyone should have something that he or she strives towards every day, nobody should just be stagnant. You’ve got to find what you love and you have to better yourself at it, and that’s why I run,” Phillips said.

Hank’s sister, freshman Claire Phillips, also shares a passion of running and singing, as well as other activities like basketball and camping. The head girls track and field coach, Brian Rosenburgh, pointed out their tight-knit bond as something he admired.

“Their family is a strong part of their lives, and you can definitely see it through their parents and through them, whether or it’s at track meets or whatever the case may be. They always connect; it’s a cool thing to see,” coach Rosenburgh said.

Although Hank and Claire don’t have many specific activities that they share, they still like spending time together.

“We spend a lot of time in the car driving together because I drive her places because she doesn’t have her license, and we’ll crank the music up and sing really loud. We just enjoy spending time together,” Phillips said about his sister.

Claire and Hank were described only in good ways, especially in their sports. Although their running is respected, track and field and cross country coach Micah Mobley had something else to say about the two that he thought was significant.

“They are more than just athletes,” Mobley said, “People outside of our group primarily see the times that show up in a results page, but we’re fortunate enough to work with them every day; we see far more than that.”

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