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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Track ramps up training, prepares for mid-season invitationals

Amy Hawthorne
In a sprint event against Wilcox High on March 24, senior sprinter Yuvraj Singh speeds ahead of his competitors.

In the late afternoon of March 24, runners from Saratoga and Wilcox lined up for the 100-meter dash event. As the gun fired, senior Yuvraj Singh leapt off the starting blocks to a strong start, a visible gap forming between him and the competition. Moments later, he handily crossed the finish line in first place, achieving a time of 11.36 seconds. 

This dual meet against Wilcox was their most recent one; the varsity boys team won 66-54 while the varsity girls won 87-30. They hope to continue their success during their upcoming April 6 meet against Santa Clara and Monta Vista.

The team’s March 29 meet against Cupertino was postponed to April 18 due to rain. This last-minute change hurts the team because their training the day prior was intentionally light to prepare for the meet, not knowing that the meet would be canceled. Luckily, the team still held practice on the original day of the meet, minimizing the setback.

For most of the team, the final meets will be the El Camino League Trials occurring on April 26 and League Finals on April 28. Although no athletes have qualified for CCS as of March 31, some top athletes including Singh, senior thrower Mika Tippetts, senior sprinter Issac Loke and senior hurdler Jalyn Harrigan are strong candidates who may qualify for the SCVAL and CCS meets.

In preparation for these end-of-season events, coaches Ian Tippetts, Archie Ljepava and Rick Ellis have transitioned from shorter running intervals with plenty of rest breaks to ramping up both aerobic and anaerobic training. 

“We are now shifting towards longer distances, more repetitions, and shorter rest times,” senior sprinter Isaac Loke said. “At the beginning of the season, we did a lot of 100-meter strides. Now we are upping the distance to 150-meter and 200-meter strides, with even more repetitions each practice.”

With this more intense training schedule, the team has performed well recently despite occasional setbacks from inconvenient weather conditions canceling practice.

The team’s stellar dual meet performances have gotten their athletes selected into prestigious invitationals. These invitationals hold no impact on the team’s ranking or top athletes’ CCS chances, but the difficult competition found in the invitationals allows for athletes to set personal records.

Tippetts competed in the highly selective St. Francis Invitational on March 18 and placed 8th in the shot put and 2nd in the discus, setting a personal record of 112 feet,9.5 inches in the latter. Additionally, the athletes have decided to participate in the Last Chance Invitational on April 15 and the CCS Top 8 Invitational on April 21.

Even with the team facing tough opposing schools with significant improvements from the previous year, the Falcons have held their own and look to carry on their mid-season momentum.

“The competition has definitely gotten tougher with 400m runners from other schools running three or four seconds faster than last year,” said senior Jason Cheng, who runs the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, and 400-meter dash. “Despite this, I think the team is performing well and am looking forward to league trials.”

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