Despite multiple losses, Falcons hope to be competitive at league meet

April 23, 2016 — by David Fan and Ami Nachiappan

“Cheek to cheek!” shouts head coach Archie Ljepava as sprint coach and 2015 alumni Avery Gigoux encourages sprinters from the sidelines at an afternoon practice in April. The coaches are continuing to motivate athletes to give it their all as the team prepares for league trials on May 2 and league finals on May 4.

With the league meet approaching, the girls plan to improve their times by refining their techniques and increasing their endurance rather than working on speed.  

According to sophomore Valerie Yang, jumpers are increasing their distance for running workouts to improve on form; they also are practicing more drills in the jumping pit.

“My goal for leagues is to improve my technique and hopefully get a personal record, especially in long jump,” Yang said. “I really want to show all that I’ve been working on throughout the season.”

Last season, the team sent both sophomore Chloe McGhee and 2015 alumni Puck deRoos to SCVALS for hurdles. This year, the team hopes to achieve faster times and qualify for SCVALS and CCS semifinals.

Even after two straight losses as of mid-April, the team is still maintaining a positive attitude that they hope will carry into leagues. At an away meet at Fremont on April 19, the Falcons lost 76-50, despite strong performances from key athletes.

McGhee and sophomore Paige Hansen both won their respective events: Mcghee ran the 300m hurdles with a time of 47.14 seconds and Hansen threw 95-08 in the 1kg discus.

The Falcons also fell short against Santa Clara on March 31, as the Bruins swept the 100m, 800m and 1600m.

Even with yet another loss, the team found a way to celebrate afterwards and commemorate the efforts of the team’s eight seniors: Kimberly, Kaitlyn Chen, Fiona Sequeira, Melissa Hoffman, Nellie Jalalian, Hannah Leney, Sanah Shah and Kelly Xiao.

“Before, I had never really thought about track senior day, but because I knew a lot of people from soccer this year [who are now on the track team], it brought back memories,” sprinter and jumper Kaitlyn said. “I am really happy on how it turned out.”

As Gigoux, along with the other coaches, preps the team for the upcoming meets, she anticipates key players stepping up in order to carry the team to victory.

“We have made sure to keep each of the athlete’s health in our mind; if we know a kid has an injury, we modify [his or her] workout,” Gigoux said. “I hope that each person really reaches their best, but all in all, this is up to them and how hard they want to work.”

Due to printing deadlines, the Falcon could not cover the away meet against Wilcox on April 26.