Track and field team finishes league season


Printed with permission of Jessica Thompson

JUMPING FOR JOY: Jessica Thompson ’23 pole vaults in a track meet against Fontana High School. Thompson placed first in Mission League for pole vault and long jump, setting the school pole vault record at 12 feet 8 inches.

Danny Johnson

The track and field team concluded its Mission League season in the Mission League Finals at Notre Dame High School on April 28. The boys ended with a record of 5-2, and the girls finished 4-0.

At the event, Jessica Thompson ’23 placed first in pole vault and long jump. Jessica Thompson said she was excited to see her hard work from the season pay off in the championship.

“I was honestly in disbelief,” Jessica Thompson said. “I was hopeful to win in the pole vault event but did not expect to take home the gold in long jump as well. I owe my success in that meet, and all of my meets, to my coaches and teammates. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They push me to be the best I can be and are my biggest supporters.”

After the Mission League Finals, members of the team participated in the CIF Division III Finals at Moorpark High School on May 14. Sprinter Alyssa Thompson ’23 ran an 11.69-second 100-meter dash at the meet, the fastest time in this event in school history.

“It was an amazing feeling to have my name put in the [school] record books,” Alyssa Thompson said. “I’m really excited to keep pushing further in the postseason.”

In addition to her two gold medals, Jessica Thompson set the school record for girls pole vault at 12 feet 8 inches at the CIF Finals on May 14, improving upon her previous personal record by 7 inches. She said she could not have increased her pole vault height without hours of practicing with her coaches throughout the year. 

“This season has been pretty difficult for me,” Jessica Thompson said. “Up until the Arcadia Invitational [on April 8], I’d only improved by about three inches from last year despite practicing all summer and during preseason. I was frustrated with myself and constantly doubting my abilities, but I was frequently reassured by my coach that there was going to be one day where it all comes together, and that day was CIF Finals. My coaches reminded me of all the hard work I’d put in to be [at the meet] and, most importantly, believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Two boys and seven girls qualified for the CIF Masters meet, an event reserved for the top CIF Finals performers in each event. Sprinter Benson Fleischer ’23, who qualified for and will compete in the long jump event May 21, said he is training harder than he has ever trained before for the Masters meet.

“This past week, my training has looked a lot different from how it has previously in the year,” Fleischer said. “This week specifically, the coaches have prepared workouts for me which are meant to keep me fresh but prepared. I am seeded last in the long jump, and in order to make it through to the state meet, I will have to jump almost 1 foot further than my current personal record. Going into the meet with the mentality that I am prepared for the moment and have nothing to worry about is essential for me to put up my best performance.”

Fleischer said he enjoys his moments of success but that the best part of being on the team is being able to support his teammates and see their growth.

“My favorite part of the season has been watching my teammates succeed,” Fleischer said. “Every day, I watch my teammates push themselves in their training, sometimes to the point where they can barely walk afterwards. While my teammates race, I turn into a fan and cheer them on with passion. Seeing them reach their goals gives me a sense of fulfillment as a teammate.”