Canceled track meets due to dangerous weather conditions cause setbacks

March 20, 2023 — by Natalie Chua and Sanjoli Gupta
Photo by Natalie Chua
Boys on the track team run during practice.
Despite the cancellations, the team attended their first competition on March 16. 

After the first two meets of track and field season — which were originally scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 9 — were canceled because of heavy rain and wind, the team finally held their first meet at home on March 16.

“Based on the team’s overall condition and worries about runners getting sick at the beginning of the season, we didn’t want people to be out for the more important later meets,” senior runner Elizabeth Stoiber said. “They just decided to cancel the first two so no one gets sick.”

Junior captain Jacob Merrill, who competes in the 800m (half mile) and 1600m (one mile), also cited safety as a concern for canceling meets. Wind can heavily impact sprinters’ time because running against a headwind for a short distance of 100 meters can slow them down. For distance races, a strategy to conserve energy is to run behind people so they break the wind, putting faster runners at a disadvantage.

Due to the cancellations, the first meet of the season was combined into a double dual meet against Fremont and Mountain View on March 16. The varsity boys lost 87-40 to Fremont and 92-34 to Mountain View; the varsity girls won 63-54 against Fremont and lost 75-43 against Mountain View. The frosh-soph boys won 92-16 against Fremont and lost 110-6 against Mountain View; the JV girls won 60-13 against Fremont and lost 80-24 against Mountain View.

  Their second meet will be combined into a double dual with Monta Vista and Santa Clara on April 6.  

 “I was very excited because this was our first meet and the delays gave us a bit more time to prepare,” Stoiber said. 

Stoiber runs long distance events — including the 800m, 1600m and 3200m (two miles). Due to the delays, the team has been able to get more practices in before their first competition. Mondays would usually consist of pre-meet preparations and attending the meet, but instead, runners are able to get more difficult workouts in. 

Some practices also had to be canceled. Merrill and other members made up for the lost practice by practicing indoors on treadmills, stationary bikes or in the weight room. 

“I felt pretty good about this upcoming meet since this was our very first meet, so I can see where I’m at so far in this season,” Merrill said. 

Freshman Kyle Li also runs long distance, including the 800m, 1600m and 3200m runs. Before the track season, Li ran cross country and played soccer, but this was his first time in track.

 Even though there were setbacks for practices and meets, Li was able to improve his running skills and adjust to the team through coach Tippetts’s Saturday “On Your Own” runs, which make distance runners jog for 60-85 minutes, a time frame that can accumulate to anywhere between seven to 11 miles. 

However, Li still felt the team was at an inherent disadvantage because of their canceled meets.

“It was unfortunate that we had to delay two meets because one of the teams we went up against already had their third meet, and we were still on the first one,” Li said. “In the future, I think we can definitely win our future meets against the same schools.”

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