You might expect most high school athletes to talk more about individual accomplishments and goals, but Lejeune High School’s track athletes seem to value the team experience more than their own feats.

“I do winter track just for the team itself,” said Hunter Uebelacker, senior shot putter. “This is a really good group of people. It feels like a family, pretty similar to the JROTC program here.”

“It’s a really great program,” said Skyler Kuncik, a junior distance runner. “Even if you’re not that great at track, you just want to be around some really great people that influence you to really do great in academics and try your best at everything.”

The culture of the LHS track program is fostered by team coach Bronwyn Schwend and her assistant coaches who help set the athletes up for success in and out of competition.

“She’s a supportive coach,” Uebelacker said. “She helps you with what you’re good at in a way where you’re confident in yourself.”

“Coach Schwend is an outstanding coach,” said senior Antonio Barrios, one of the team’s leaders. “She really cares about the track team. She puts a lot of passion into it, and it goes to show.”

This winter, the Devil Pups will have their sights set on making the state meet with qualifying times and distances. They also like their chances with the relay teams and in the pole vault, where they’ve had success in the past.

Whether or not LHS brings home hardware from the state meet this season, there is a feeling that the team is a success anyway given its focus on academics, teamwork and having fun.

LHS Winter Track Schedule:

Dec. 4 @ Trask, 3:15 p.m.

Dec. 11 @ Croatan, 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 @ Pender, 3:15 p.m.

Jan. 8 @ Trask, 3:15 p.m.

Jan. 11 @ JDL Winston-Salem, 8 a.m.

Jan. 29 @ Trask, 3:15 p.m.

Feb. 5 @ Trask (conference championship), 2 p.m.

Feb. 15 @ JDL Winston-Salem (state meet)