Season preview: Track attempts to shake rust off athletes through easy early season training schedule

February 15, 2023 — by George Hu
Photo by Atrey Desai
During a practice on Feb. 3, the sprinters do warm up drills.
The athletes hope to continue having fun with the sport by making new friends and sustaining their personal goals.

Head Coaches: Archie Ljepava and Ian Tippetts

Last year’s record: 2-4 (varsity boys), 4-2 (varsity girls)

Last year’s recap: Even though the team sometimes struggled to stay competitive and didn’t fill every slot in dual meets, almost every athlete was able to set a personal record in their events.

Key Matchups: Wilcox and Mountain View

Star Players: Seniors Yuvraj Singh (100m and 200m), Mika Tippetts (discus and shot put), Isha Goswami (200m and 400m) and Jason Cheng (200m and 400m)

Key losses to graduation: Harrison Dance (1600m and 3200m) and Giulio Morini Bianzino (high jump and long jump)

League: El Camino


The track coaches kicked off their season with lighter training this year, placing a larger emphasis on avoiding peaking too early in the season. Archie Ljepava and Ian Tippetts want the athletes to hit their season’s best time in late April in the El Camino League finals, with the goal of moving on to SCVAL finals and CCS. 

The team has official practices five days a week starting at 4 p.m., though distance runners are additionally assigned to do a long aerobic run on Saturday. 

They start each session with a two-lap warmup before splitting up into three groups: distance runners, sprinters and throwers.

Currently, the distance runners’ training regime consists of aerobic (easy pace) runs every day along with strength training twice a week that targets the hips, core, hamstrings and quadriceps. However, Ljepava and Tippetts feel that most of them have not been doing much weight training in the offseason. Consequently, they feel that jumping into weight training too early in the season will lead to injury and major soreness.

The sprinters also have not gone to the weight room yet, but are similarly doing strength training exercises that target the same body parts three times a week, along with short interval repeat sessions every day. 

Meanwhile, the throwers have been targeting upper body exercises and are focusing on throwing technique during the early phases to establish good habits. During practices, each athlete attempts to focus on a weakness that is holding them back from setting better marks.

“During training sessions, I focus on my starts as that’s my biggest weakness,” senior sprinter Yuvraj Singh said. “My top speed is good and during the races, I am usually the fastest in the heat but my start is letting me down.”

After every athlete completes their workout, they do a two lap cooldown and stretch all of the major body parts to avoid major soreness.

Last season, the varsity boys team won two out of their six dual meets, while the varsity girls team won four. Most importantly, almost all of the athletes were able to set personal records in their events. 

Through their training regime, the team hopes to build off of last season, which could be difficult considering the team is more underclassmen-heavy and lost star athletes Harrison Dance and Giulio Morini Bianzino to graduation.

The team currently has more members than in recent years. However, the roster is not finalized, and the coaches may need to make cuts due to the larger turnout.

With a bigger team, they still look to continue their supportive culture, pushing each other to meet their goals while also making the experience more enjoyable for each other.

“Doing track has helped me make many friends, including kids who are much older and younger than me,” senior thrower Mika Tippetts said. “I feel like in track everyone is working on their own goal but they all want you to do well.”

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