Two young and exciting voices in track and field are making their way to MileSplit to lead a new podcast on the site.
Starting this Friday, and airing twice a month, Aaron and Joshua Potts will host Track-Ish on MileSplit, a podcast dedicated to the sport at the prep level, its culture and everything in between.
Aaron and Josh are founders of the Running Report and the 2 Black Runners Podcast. At MileSplit, the Californians will bring their same flare, energy and perspective to the platform, offering compelling interviews with athletes, their best takes on the week ahead and their thoughts on the next big things in the sport.
To learn a little bit more about our hosts before their first show, we asked them a few questions.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself Aaron?
Aaron: I started running track and field at the age of 10 alongside my older brother Caleb with our dad as our coach. Our dad quickly fell in love with track and field and saw an opportunity for us to further our education down the road if we kept at it throughout high school.
At the same time, I began to develop a love of the sport myself. I found myself routinely watching professional meets, Workout Wednesdays and reading books like Once Runner and Running with the Buffalos. After high school, I earned a scholarship to Azusa Pacific University and during my time at APU I worked at A Snail Pace Running Shop.
Working at a running store introduced me to the opportunities running has to offer and after I graduated to move to San Luis Obispo to compete semi-professionally with the HOKA Aggies while working customer service at Running Warehouse.
These experiences gave me insight into the running industry and ultimately led me to my current position in marketing with HOKA.
Running culture has always been and always will be my passion. It's helped me get an education, find a career, build relationships and taught me many life lessons along the way. Joshua and I have inserted this passion into the Running Report & 2 Black Runners and plan to do this same with Track-ish.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself Joshua?
Joshua: I am a lover of movies, tv shows, professional wrestling, soul food and especially track and field. At five years old I started running club track after watching my brothers at track practice and meets. I continued to run track through elementary, middle school, high school and in college. A lot of the lessons in self-discipline, determination, empathy and more were taught to me on the track and I have translated that into my daily life.
This is the first year that I am not competing in the sport, so most of my days now include editing the 2 Black Runners Podcast or something for the Running Report instead of a run everyday. Also, you can catch me at Cal State Fullerton, where I am completing my Bachelors degree in journalism, or at Norco High School, where I coach the XC/Distance team with my dad.
What exactly is Track-ish? What kind of podcast do you want it to be in the long run?
Aaron: I want Track-ish to be more than a podcast that just reporting on wins, losses and personal bests. I want to rebirth the joy I felt as a high schooler running track and field, and be a podcast that represents track and field culture as a whole.
Joshua: Track-ish is a representation of the culture, which means two different things for us when breaking it down.
First, it represents the culture of track and field that goes beyond medals, PRs or records. Instead, we want to talk about what it is that keeps bringing people back to the sport from the community, competition, smell of Tiger Balm at meets and all of the other juicy topics.
Second, Track-ish is a representation of Aaron and I as two African-American distance/xc runners. We take a lot of pride in our identity and realize that our voice in a sport where we're the minority can hold a lot of weight. We hope that this podcast can make an impact and send ripple effects throughout the entire track community.
Track and field is the largest high school participation sport in the U.S. combined across both genders, with over a million athletes annually competing. If there's one thing you want to get across to high school athletes during this podcast, what is it and why?
Aaron: I want kids to know that their sport is just as cool as basketball, football, baseball and any other sport out there. Track and field can be entertaining and we have the best athletes in the world!
Joshua: I want kids in high school to know that track and field doesn't stop when they finish practice after school, cross the finish line at a meet, make another good throw or have another good vault. Rather, I want them to know that track and field extends itself through social media, TV, movies and could even lead them to a job one day as well.
When did you first fall in love with track and field? What has kept you in the sport to this day?
Aaron: I started running track and field in the second grade, but what has made me love it is everything surrounding it. Everything from the training, travel meets, to the team aspect is so special to me, and I think what's really kept me in the sport is the people. I've made so many genuine friendships/connections in the sport and their passion is a source of fuel to my fire.
Aaron: Honestly it feels like I fell in love with track and field from day one; I have distant memories of being at track meets as a toddler with chapped lips in my mother's arms, or watching my brother's race on sunny Saturdays and Sundays in Southern California.
From the beginning, I just loved the idea of the sport so much that on multiple occasions I would "play track" in our house as a kid by myself. My family would see me running back and forth in the hallways as I pretended to be in the Olympic Final 4x100m or was running a world record marathon.
With that strong passion from the get-go, the main thing that keeps me in the sport is trying to share that joy to the rest of the world. Everyone else is sleeping on track and field, and if I can wake them up through a podcast, YouTube video, Instagram page, or something else, that will be a success.
We love track. But we also want some ish. What kind of fun stuff are we going to hear about from you two?
Joshua: A lot of the ish that you're going to get from the show will come from interviews and our overall approach to the sport. This will be exemplified through multiple segments we do on the show like "What are the Pottsibilities?"
In this segment, Aaron and I are either going to preview or react to a recent event in high school track and field. We aren't just going to focus on the Pottsibilities about the times or records, but we will go beyond into the culture.
Our views may not always be the typical response from a T&F commentator or maybe the most educated, but just know this will be the Potts Brothers in their most authentic form!