The Simpsonian

Kalinay leads the Storm on and off the track

Photo%3A+Courtesy+of+Jim+Kirby
Photo: Courtesy of Jim Kirby

Photo: Courtesy of Jim Kirby

Photo: Courtesy of Jim Kirby

by Cole Poots, Sports Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Senior Dylan Kalinay has been quite active in his four years on the Simpson men’s track and field team, earning himself IIAC Track Performer of the Week 10 times in his career.

Kalinay recently ran a career-best 6.96 seconds in the 60m sprint at Grinnell’s Darren Young Invitational, which is third-fastest time in school history and 17th-best in Division III.

Kalinay recognizes the success he has been able to accomplish in his time at Simpson, but he attributes most of it to his teammates who have impacted him on his journey.

“Coming here my freshman year was weird, our program was kind of down at that point,” Kalinay said. “The year after that, we brought in a good recruiting class and all those guys are really good, so we can all kind of share the success together.”

Kalinay said bonding with his teammates is what makes the process special and knowing he’s made friendships that will last a lifetime.

“We go to practice and it usually sucks, but we love it,” Kalinay said. “I love hanging out with my friends. I love coming to practice everyday and being with those guys.”

The strength and conditioning program, followed mostly during the offseason, was implemented during Kalinay’s sophomore year and has helped develop a skill set to consistently perform his best on the track.

“I think one of the biggest changes was to our strength and conditioning program,” Kalinay said. “It was almost nonexistent during my freshman year. Sophomore year it changed when Josh came in, and it’s been good ever since.”

Head coach Dave Cleveland described Kalinay as the type of kid you would love to have a full team of. His talent, work ethic, attitude and competitive nature set him apart from others.

“He makes coaching a lot easier,” Cleveland said. “When he was a freshman, I would call him the silent assassin, because he is kind of unassuming. His performances and competitive nature speak for themselves, so he doesn’t have to say much.”

When Kalinay was injured last season, his teammates stepped up and had record-breaking runs without him. Instead of being upset because of his injury, Cleveland said Kalinay was happy for his teammates. It’s what makes him such a good person; embodying what it means to be a true team player.

“I think Dylan will leave a legacy,” Cleveland said. “As far as him being a really good teammate. He was excited for those guys even if it meant taking his name off the record board.”

Sophomore teammate Isaiah Strong said Kalinay is always trying to watch other teammates’ events even if its one he doesn’t compete in. He said Kalinay is constantly making an effort to help others on the team.

“Dylan likes to engage himself with others on the team during a meet and offer up advice,” Strong said. “He’ll watch me compete even though he doesn’t know much about high jump. He tries to get around and watch everyone’s events.”
Strong said Kalinay is a good example for a lot of the younger guys to look up to.

“It gives me hope,” Strong said. “If he can still be excelling as a senior, then I feel that me being a sophomore means I can still progress and get better.”

It’s no doubt that Kalinay has left an impact on the Simpson track and field program. No one is sure what his future will hold, but Kalinay and Cleveland both have high expectations after the season is over.
Kalinay said he’ll return next fall to finish up student teaching. He plans on becoming a PE teacher or a coach.

He’ll look to continue his stellar start to the senior season when the Storm travel to Pella to participate in the IIAC Indoor Championship meet on Feb. 23-24.

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