More Than the Performance

Following four years of competing on men’s track and field, fourth-year Ben Chaimberg reflects on his team and experience.

By Daniel Zea

With the end of any collegiate season, athletic programs experience turnover; no team escapes the process of welcoming new athletes and bidding farewell to graduating veterans. While the Maroon track and field teams will undoubtedly recruit a number of excellent competitors next year, they will surely miss the contributions of fourth-year co-captain Ben Chaimberg, whose excellent collegiate career helped push the team to new heights. A recipient of numerous University Athletic Association (UAA) designations and a UAA Champion in the 2017 indoor 4×400-meter relay, Chaimberg boasts an impressive athletic resume. Equally focused on his responsibilities as a student, Chaimberg also earned a place on the UAA All-Academic Team for three consecutive years.

While Chaimberg could certainly bask in the success he’s enjoyed throughout his collegiate career, in reflecting on it, Chaimberg displayed a team-first mentality, often using “we” instead of “I.” He certainly could have cited a number of achievements when asked about the athletic highlight of his four years here, however; Chaimberg instead emphasized the efforts of this year’s 4×400-meter relay team, stating, “The time that we put up in the relay this outdoor season was very unexpected. I think that in terms of one accomplishment, that time means a lot. We’re second all-time with that time for the University.”

 Later discussing his biggest takeaways from his four years as a member of the track and field team, Chaimberg continued to exude appreciation for his peers. In fact, Chaimberg remarked, “The teammates that I had taught me so much about work ethic, about what’s important, how you prioritize, but also about friendship too, about how you come together as more than a group of individuals who run, but really as a whole family.” Reiterating the importance of this dynamic, Chaimberg shared, “Our cheer for the team is ‘Team, Family.’ That’s who we are.” 

More than just representative of the team’s character, that cheer also characterizes Chaimberg’s approach to the sport. While admitting that “track is an individual sport 95 percent of the time,” Chaimberg also asserted that “if you spend enough time with people working towards one goal, you’re going to create a great community, and that community can allow you to do so much more than what you could on your own.” Focused more on comradery than results, Chaimberg maintains a unique viewpoint on a sport many would not consider team-oriented. To Chaimberg, however, the concept of team adds immense value to track and field. According to him, “It’s so much more to me than just the performance.”

Finally, offering some advice to his teammates as a departing co-captain, Chaimberg emphatically stressed, “Take care of your family, man…. They will have your back no matter what.” Additionally, Chaimberg urged his teammates to maximize their time on the team. Reflecting on his own motivation, he stated, “I feel like I’m here at this school to get everything out of it.” Passing this on to his teammates, Chaimberg said, “Just make the most of it, enjoy it.”