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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Track: Team blazes forward amid changes

Track athletes started the season off with a bang, securing a victory against Fremont on March 10 and against Homestead in the varsity boys and girls division on March 31, as well as multiple personal records.

“Our first three meets went pretty well; we had a lot of people [achieve persona
l records]. Usually no one PRs at the first meet, so it’s going pretty well,” junior Eren Veziroglu said.

Juniors Louise Guy, Aanchal Mohan, Ellen Stjerngren, and Shivani Chadha, the girls varsity 4×4 team, and placed first against Homestead. Junior Crystal Yen, who runs the 100 meter sprint, 100 meter hurdles and 300 meter hurdles, placed first in all three.

The team’s effort during the practices as well as the inherent talent has set up the team for a strong year.

“Our training regimen has become a little more intense this year,” sophomore Maya Nag said. Nag placed second in the varsity 800 meter with a time of 2:33 in the March 30 meet.

Some felt disappointed, however, due to the close loss against Wilcox on March 17, one of the strongest schools in the league. The girls scored 57-68 and the boys scored 46-81.

“We lost by 9 points to Wilcox, so it was kind of sad,” junior Ailene Nguyen said.

However, the results are an improvement from last year’s meet against Wilcox, whose athletes are “scary and big and strong,” Cummins said.

A strong start

By winning more meets this year, the track team hopes to move up to the next league next year with tougher competition.

“The varsity girls’ team is really strong this year, and the boys are doing really well, but we lost a lot of key players this year,” Nguyen said. “We had a lot of seniors not come back this year and I think that really hurt us.”

Nguyen participates in numerous events, ranging from triple jump to many different distances for sprints.

Nguyen placed fourth in CCS Finals in long jump last year at 17 feet 9 inches. She also placed 15th in triple jump at CCS Finals with a distance of 33 feet and 8.5 inches.

Nag feels the difference in competition from participating in varsity this year as opposed to last year.

“I feel like it’s a great accomplishment to being running with such fast people,” Nag said. “The fastest members of the team inspire me to push harder.”

Veziroglu believes the athletes are preparing themselves well for oncoming challenging meets.

“We’re mostly just practicing for the bigger meets later in the season, which are mostly league finals and invitationals,” Veziroglu said.

New attendance system

This year, track coach Archie Ljepava has implemented a new system of monitoring attendance similar to time cards. At the start of practice every day, each athlete has to find his or her card from a pile and turn it in to one of the coaches to earn credit for that day.

“We have to turn our cards into the coaches at the beginning to track practice,” said sophomore Michael Bancroft, “and if we don’t, we get an absence.”

The athletes are forced to skip a meet after three absences and are removed from the team after six.
Despite numerous complaints, the new system has been successful.

“People used to ditch a lot last year, but since they use the card system, you have to give the card to the coach this year,” said junior Ashley Tang. As a result, the athletes are obligated to attend practice, she believes.

The team is progressing well at this point, athletes said.

“In my perspective, [the team] is having fun and they are also improving each meet,” said distance coach Danny Moon, “and that’s the key, because they goal is to end the meet at least getting a personal record [PR].”

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