Track off to an uncertain start

February 10, 2020 — by Vicky Bai and Nicole Lu

Track coaches set their hopes on a successful track season despite declining participation


Head Coaches: Archie Ljepava and Ian Tippetts

2018-2019 recap: Sophomore jumper Giulio Morini-Bianzino and  senior sprinter Alex Taylor advanced to CCS, with Morini-Bianzino coming in 26th for long jump and Taylor coming in 24th and 30th place in the 200m and 100m events respectively. The varsity girls’ 4×100 team and alumna distance runner Elizabeth Kardach qualified as well; the relay team placed 23rd overall, while Kardach came in at 16th place.

Key Additions: junior thrower Luke Edwards, freshmen distance runner and thrower Mika Tippetts and distance runner Elsa Blom

Key Matchups: none

Star Players: senior distance runners Shivam Verma and Kole Tippetts; sophomores distance runner Dance and jumper Morini-Bianzino; seniors sprinter Emma Hsu and thrower and jumper Alice Lin, junior sprinters Shama Gupta and Allison Hartley, and sophomore sprinter and jumper Ashna Krishnamurthy. 

Key losses to graduation: sprinter Sasha Pickard, distance runner Elizabeth Kardach

League: El Camino Division


Following a successful season last year with relatively young athletes advancing in various events to CCS, coaches Ljepava and Tippetts said that they hope to continue that streak despite a sharp decline in participation among veteran players.

The track team is significantly smaller than it was last year, with many former star participants such as senior distance runners Julia Hoffman, Sanjana Reddy and sprinters Alex Taylor and Tyler Ouchida choosing not to participate this year.

Still, making up for these absences are newcomers like sophomore sprinter Elaine Liu.

“I joined the team this season because I wanted to be in a spirited atmosphere and meet people that have a passion for running,” she said. 

The coaches said that they are planning to bring back strength training and speed training to help the athletes perform their best. The distance team, which consists of many cross country athletes, has especially high expectations after the success of the boys’ cross country team in the fall.  

Ljepava and Tippetts said they will also be more strict on attendance policies and tardiness in order to motivate athletes to arrive on time and commit themselves to the team.

“The goal of this season is just to improve and get people to love track,” Ljepava said. “We’re trying to get people to love fitness and be competitive. I want to compete and teach these students to use that competitiveness to their advantage.”


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