Two senior track athletes qualify for CCS Finals, unable to advance to the CIF State Championships

May 25, 2023 — by George Hu
Courtesy of Malcolm Slaney
Senior Jalyn Harrigan runs the 300-meter hurdles at CCS Trials on May 13.
Although the team’s performance was subpar this season, there were still many individual successes.

Sophomore distance runner Pranav Rajan trailed just ahead of the other runners in the 1600-meter race at the final dual meet against Cupertino on April 18. With the finish line in sight and two runners closely behind him, he charged down the final 100 meters, finishing first with a time of 4 minutes and 45.01 seconds.

Even with Rajan’s impressive race, the boys’ varsity team lost 70-55; however, the varsity girls won 78-43. Overall, the boys’ team ended with a 1-5 record over the course of six dual meets, placing fifth in the El Camino league, while the girls’ team ended with a 4-2 record, finishing third.

Head and distance coach Ian Tippetts, head and jumps coach Archie Ljepava, sprints coach Rick Ellis, throws coach Stephen Matos, and hurdlers coach Kole Tippetts helped guide the athletes throughout the season.

Although this season’s results were subpar for the team as a whole, 10 athletes were able to do well enough in the El Camino League Trials and Finals to qualify for the SCVAL Finals on May 6. Five of those 10 moved on to compete in CCS Trials the following week on May 13. 

Senior Jalyn Harrigan qualified for the 4×100 relay, 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, while senior Mika Tipetts qualified for the shot put and discus. Senior Isha Goswami qualified for the 400-meter run and the 4×100. Sophomores Natalie Zaragoza and Clara Zhao also qualified for the 4×100. 

During trials, Harrigan placed sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.51 seconds and eighth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.67 seconds. Tippetts placed ninth in the shot put with a distance of 33 feet and 8.5 inches and ninth in the discus with a distance of 107 feet and 8 inches. With their marks, both seniors advanced to CCS finals.

Facing stiff competition, neither athlete was able to move forward and compete in the CIF State Championships. At finals, Harrigan placed sixth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.51 seconds — coincidentally the same exact time as in prelims — and the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.57 seconds. Meanwhile, Tippetts placed seventh in the discus with a distance of 109 feet and ninth in shot put with a distance of 33 feet and 9 inches.

Despite being extraordinary athletes, they still feel that they have room for improvement, especially for Tippets, who plans to continue participating in track and field at De Anza College.

“For throwing, I think my technique is good, but the power behind my throws needs work. I feel like I have an insufficient amount of strength [when I throw],” Tippetts said.

Unlike Tippetts, Harrigan will not do competitive college track. Regardless of future plans, both athletes’ main goal for the season was to have fun with track and field before leaving for college. Harrigan felt that by possessing the passion to aim higher every time she competed, the hard work she put in during practices paid off.

“I gained confidence from track,” Harrigan said. “Everyone feels empowered after they finish their race, especially if it’s a longer distance. Everyone feels good about what they’ve achieved.”

Tags: ccs, track
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