Of course, winning is always the primary objective.
But, hoping to follow in what are seemingly the never-ending footsteps of Sir James Dunn's elite long-distance runners, Lynnea Lobert plans to take very specific goals into next week's City High School Track-and- Field Meet.
The two-day event begins Wednesday at 4 p. m., and resumes Thursday at 9 a. m. at Jo Forman Track.
So, while she's determined to capture both the junior girls 1,500 metre and 3,000m races -- a feat she accomplished a year ago in the midget ranks -- the 16-year-old Lobert wants more.
The Grade 10 student is intent on finishing the 1,500m in under five minutes -- "I've run 5:01 numerous times," she says -- and the 3,000m in 10:50.
"I've done 10:52 indoors at York University," said Lobert, who won last year's 3,000m Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association (NOSSA) final, while finishing in second place in the North's 1,500m by just .3 of a second. "I'm confident I can do it."
This year's NOSSA event goes May 28-29 in North Bay.
And by meeting the time standards she's set for herself, Lobert feels she would take a major stride toward accomplishing her eventual goal: Making a return trip to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships.
This year's provincial meet is slated for June 4-6 in Toronto.
A year ago at OFSAA, Lobert placed 14th in the 3,000m and was 10th in her heat in the 1,500m.
As if Lobert needed extra incentive, her mentor, former SJD long-distance runner Rhiannon Johns, will be in the Sault for next week's meet.
Johns, a freshman, ran track and cross-country this season for the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She set Senior Division records in the 2008 city meet in both the 1,500m and 3,000m races.
"It'll be fun to have her here," Lobert said of Johns. "I want to do my best in front of her -- she's a good friend."
As for taking a step up from the midget ranks, Lobert doesn't see it as a problem.
She's been training hard and is excited as preparations for the city meet begin to wind down.
"I don't think moving from midget to junior will be too much of a difference for me," said Lobert, who expects to be tested by St. Basil's Jullien Flynn in the 3,000m and possibly the 1,500m. "I think eventually going to senior will make for a bigger adjustment."
Of Flynn, Lobert calls the Saints trackster "a good runner who works hard. She'll push me, but I'll also push myself."
Notes:The Dunn will seek its 28th consecutive Jo Forman Trophy next week. The award is emblematic of the Sault's coed (boys and girls combined) track-and-field championship.