Track: Team struggles against injuries and hot weather April 3, 2018 — by Francesca Chu and Alexandra Li Photo by Now and Forever StudiosSenior Valerie Yang lands in the pit during the long jump competition at a recent meet. Track members compete against Cupertino and Monta Vista With several injured athletes, including freshman sprinter Isaac Sun, senior long distance runner Keon Roohparvar and senior sprinter Leilee Naderi, and a smaller team than the previous year, members of the track team are being asked to compete in more than their usual events in an attempt to keep events full. On March 29, the team competed at Cupertino. The varsity boys lost 80-46 and varsity girls won 64-63, resulting in a 3-1 for the Falcons. On March 22, the varsity girls lost 80-50 and the varsity boys won 66-60 against Monta Vista. Overall, the team tied 2-2, with varsity boys and JV girls winning. At Cupertino, the team struggled slightly due to the hot weather and several injuries. According to senior long jumper Valerie Yang, athletes were more focused on individual improvement since the whole team was not there and the chances of winning the overall meet were diminished. Despite being ill, Yang scored her season records, placing second in long jump and triple jump. For the rest of the season, she hopes to beat her personal best by working on drills like pop-ups and run-throughs. As for the team, coach Archie Ljepava is focusing on getting everyone healthy and able to compete again. “In order to avoid more injuries, we’ve set aside more time before and after our workouts to really stretch and warm-up or cool down our muscles,” Yang said. At Monta Vista, the conditions were better, and the team competed well. With Monta Vista being a top competitor in the league, the team knew they would have to put in extra work to stand a chance. “Overall, we fought hard even though we knew they were going to be a tough competitor,” senior high jumper Riley Carter said. “We gave it our best even though we didn’t think we were going to win.” Carter placed second in the 400 meter run. Carter said her results for high jump were disappointing: She jumped 5’ compared to her record of 5’4”. She attributes this to the fact that she ran a 400 meter right before the jump, an event she usually doesn’t compete in. Her overall goal this season is to reach or surpass her past records. “I want to keep working on my approach and form,” Carter said. “I’m also working on getting stronger in the weightroom because once I get the form down, it’s all muscle strength.” While the team continues to train, they are also focusing on bonding and creating a sense of team unity through activities like secret buddies or team dinners. “Everyone’s doing their own thing so it never really feels like a team, but everybody always forgets that track is actually a team sport and what matters is not just what you do by yourself, but rather as a whole team,” Carter said. The team has two more meets in the season to finish off six meets in total. This will be followed by Leagues, SCVAL and CCS.