Milken prides itself upon excelling in all aspects of student life, from robotics to performing arts. In recent years, Milken has seen an uptick in athletic success as well, highlighted most significantly by the Wildcats’ CIF Southern Section Championship in basketball during the 2016-2017 academic year. This success is less noticeable in a sport such as Track and Field, where athletes compete individually as members of the Milken collective. One of the Wildcats’ most triumphant runners is Noah Safer-Brickman ‘19, whose skills have caught the attention of college coaches at schools such as Linfield College and Occidental College. He sat down with The Roar to talk about how his career has gone thus far and where he sees himself by the time he graduates:
Walk us through your first year as a part of the track team.
When I started running track in my freshman year, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I was really just trying to get a feel for the sport. I ran the 400 meter and 800 meter races and the 4×400 meter relay. I tried my best at every race, and it showed me what I was capable of. But really freshman year was about setting the foundation for me to become a better runner and a better athlete.
How did things change during sophomore year?
Sophomore year was fantastic. It was the first time that I had run in invitationals, which are meets outside of our league. It was somewhat intimidating as an underclassman to be competing against seniors who were some of the best athletes in the state, but I stuck with it, tried to improve, and got my times down a lot.
What was the biggest race you ran as a sophomore?
I ran in the CIF Southern Section Division IV Qualifier and placed 17th. That was really cool for me because I had finished somewhere in the 20s of the same race in my freshman year. So the progress is there, and hopefully I can do even better this year and advance further towards the CIF Finals.
Has anyone that you know of advanced to the Qualifier from Milken?
Not that I know of, so it was incredibly special for me to get to do so.
Some Milken students may have seen you in a knee brace during the offseason. What happened, and how has it affected your running?
I dislocated my patella, and it really affected my running. I couldn’t finish the cross country season, and it hurt that I wasn’t able to help my team when they made CIF. I’m still recovering a little bit, so hopefully I can get back to how fast I was running before the injury.
What are your goals for the end of junior year and for senior year?
By the end of junior year I’m hoping to get back to where I was at the end of sophomore year and fully overcome my injury. For senior year, I’m hoping to advance past the Qualifiers and get to the CIF Southern Section Finals.