The girls’ and boys’ track and field teams have started off the season strong and are currently 3-1 and 4-2 respectively, though the girls’ team is significantly smaller.
Although there are a changes within the girls’ team dynamic, the members do not feel that it is hindering their performance.
“While [having fewer girls on the team] has the potential to make team meet victories more difficult, it has really encouraged people to step up and take on more races, and has given us all the opportunity to get to know each other better and foster a strong sense of friendship on the team,” long jumper Ryan Stanford ‘19 said.
The first meet of the season allowed both teams to not only get back into shape, but also understand the dynamic between the athletes.
“It was good to just be back racing again after a couple of months of just training,” runner Andrew Shibuya ‘19 said. “I think it’s tough training too long without racing because I feel like meets are good indicators of where we are as a team. I know it was definitely good to be back in the rhythm of racing and to start seeing where I was physically. I’m sure everyone else was excited to start racing again, and I know as a team it’s nice to see our training paying off in the dual meets.”
The squad is focusing more on team development than individual achievements because of the shift in leadership and number of students in the program.
“Track may not be traditionally seen as a team sport, but, especially at high school level, it operates that way more than one would expect,” Stanford said. “Being in an environment where commitment to the community means so much has definitely taught me a lot about the importance of being a supportive and selfless teammate, and it’s such an amazing thing to know we’re all working together to accomplish what we’ve set out to do.”
For the past five years, Notre Dame has become a fierce competitor for the girls team.
“Last year, they beat us for the first time in over 5 seasons, so it was a very tough loss,” Danton said. “But we’re ready to try to get them this year and take back a league title.”
Though the girls’ team was looking forward to a victory, the squad lost to the Knights 75-52 on March 23.
As for the boys’ team, Loyola is their biggest competitor, due to the sheer number of people on its team.
“Loyola has been a big rival for the past couple years, but it’s always a struggle facing them because they have so many more guys than we do,” sprinter Adin Ring ‘18 said. “But we’re looking strong this year and we just beat one of the other top teams, Notre Dame, in a league meet.”
The boys will face Loyola on April 24.
To prepare for the meets against their respective rivals, the boys and girls have been practicing specific skills for overall improvement.
“Both teams are focusing on getting in good training by pushing through tough workouts, like threshold runs for distance or 250 repeats for sprinters and hurdlers,” sprinter Mila Danton ‘17 said. “In the next couple weeks the important Spring Break training cycle will set us up for league finals in May, and for some of us, CIF.”