Boys’ track kicks off on rough start

April 1, 2015 — by Karissa Dong and Ami Nachiappan

Halfway through the 100m dash at an away meet against Santa Clara on March 26, senior sprinter Tony Holt realized he wasn’t running full speed. He urged himself to focus on the race, but his hamstring had been bothering him since his first jump earlier in the meet.

  “I was going all the way, but I wasn’t giving it everything I had,” Holt said. “I tried to put all of it in and go all out. If my hamstring hadn’t hurt that badly, things would’ve been better.”

Minor injuries and individual difficulties like this have contributed to early-season losses, such as this 72-55 defeat against Santa Clara.

At another away meet at Homestead on March 17, the team lost 83-43, despite laudable performances by several distance runners. Senior Andrew Harter placed first, junior Stephen Law fourth and senior Rohith Krishna seventh in the 800m.

Many of these long-distance athletes also qualified for the K-Bell invitational at Los Gatos on March 14. Senior Steven Sum placed first in the 1600m with a time of 4:19, Harter placed 23rd with a time of 4:35, Krishna placed 53rd with a time of 4:46 and Law placed 57th with a time of 4:47.

“We only can improve from here because we’re a really young team,” head coach Archie Ljepava said. “It’s going to take a couple of years of regrowth, and then we’ll be back to where we were last year.”

Against Cupertino on March 12 at a home meet, the boys also lost 75-48. In the 3200m event, Sum placed first, Law second and Krishna third.

Last year, the boys ended with a 5-1 record. This year, the team’s record in the upper league currently stands at 0-3. Still, Krishna believes that the team will improve over this season.

“Now we know where we’re at in terms of how fast we are and what we need to work on,” he said.

Most of these long-distance runners have trained together in cross country and track for all four years of high school, but for the seniors, this season is the last time they will run together.

“I feel really excited [about the season] and I want to give it my all in this last season of my track career,” Krishna said. “On the other hand, I feel kind of sad, but [the end] has to come at some point.”

The distance team qualified for Leagues last year and this year’s El Camino League finals meet will be held on May 6. To qualify for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) on May 15, individual athletes must place within the top nine of their event in league finals; to gain entrance into CCS, they must place within top three in SCVAL.

“For the team, it’s a lot about improvement because everyone’s at a different stage in their track careers,” said Krishna. “I qualified last year and hope to make it to CCS this year.”

Though the boys are eager to improve their times, Krishna said that track is enjoyable due to its team atmosphere.

“Track gives more of a team spirit because you have to win points for the team,” he said. “When you run, you always have the team in the back of your head.”

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon could not cover the home meet against Fremont on April 2.

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