By Julius Pak
Ranked second in California and fourth in the nation, the girls’ track and field team placed 10th at the inaugural Nike Track Nationals on Saturday, July 3 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
Qualifying for the Nike Track Nationals was different than most meets, as the teams themselves rather than individuals, qualified. The girls’ track and field team was selected as one of the top 12 girls’ track and field programs in the country to compete in the Nike Track Nationals in Eugene, Oregon.
This system “allows us to be competitive with large schools,” said distance coach Tim Sharpe. “It keeps it fair, and allows us to focus on the team.”
The Wolverine track team took eight female students to the Nike Track Nationals.
Amy Weissenbach ’12 won the 800m event.
“I was incredibly excited and overwhelmed, especially because Hayward is a place with so much history. To run a victory lap around a track where so many track legends had run before me was a dream come true,” Weissenbach said.
Cami Chapus ’12 and Sydney Haydel ’10 both came in second place in the mile and shot put, respectively. Lauren Hansson ’11 placed fourth in the 400m event. Zaakirah Daniels ’10 took fourth place in the 100m hurdles event. In the high jump event, Chelsea Edwards ’11 came in ninth place. Kei Goldberg ’12 competed in the pole vault event but did not place.
Hilary King competed in two events: long jump and the 100m. She took ninth place in the former event, and sixth place in the latter.
“[The record] was not representative of how good we are, but we are still proud of them all,” Sharpe said.
“As a whole, I think we did really well,” Weissenbach said. “I know that there were a few girls who were disappointed with how they performed, but that was only because they had had such a spectacular season up until then, so anything but spectacular seemed mediocre. That’s part of the reason our team does so well: we aren’t satisfied with anything less than our personal best.”
“It was an amazing experience,” Sharpe said. “The kids were treated like professional athletes. The way it worked, it was really a quality, a professional event.”
Nike gave the athletes free uniforms, shoes and food. “It felt like we were running as professionals,” Chapus said. “My race was on the last race of the night, so they let everyone on the track to watch and cheer us on.”