Boys, girls win early dual meets

Jonathan Seymour

Both the girls’ and boys’ track and field teams maintain 2-0 dual meet overall and league records.

“The season so far has been going great,” Alexandria Florent ’15 said. “There have been some people who couldn’t continue doing track this year, which was tough, but we’ve really stepped up as a team to compensate for these losses.”

The girls beat Louisville 90-31 at home in their season and league opener March 5, winning a majority of the events.

Shea Copeland ’15, who holds the Harvard-Westlake girls’ 100-meter record with a time of 12.04 seconds, won the 100-meter, running it in 12.44 seconds. She also won the 200-meter in 25.84 seconds.

“We’ve been working really hard since November, training four times per week,” Copeland said. “Since February, we are up to [practicing] four times per week as we’ve been working a lot on our mechanics and technique because form is very important in track.”

Casey Crosson ’17 led the 1600-meter, and Nicole Araya ’16, Lauren Jones ’16 and Lochryn Howe ’17 followed her, taking second, third and fourth place respectively.

“In practice we’ve really been working on doing things right technically: a lot of work on running/jumping mechanics and things that will help you finish a race strong or jump that extra inch further or higher,” Florent said.

Nina Milligan ’16 won the 100-meter hurdles race and the 300-meter hurdles as well. London Alexander ’18 won the 400-meter, and she was followed by Francesca Walker ’16.

Alexander also won the 800-meter, and Annik Irving ’16, Rasa Barzdukas ’17 and Jones took second, third and fourth place, respectively.

Crosson, Araya and Howe took the top three places in the 3200-meter, the Wolverines also won the 4×400-meter with a time of 4:28.98.

On the field, Florent jumped 15 feet and eight inches to win the long jump event, and Kennedy Long ’16 took second in the long jump and also won the triple jump with a distance of 29 feet 8 inches. In addition, Florent jumped up 5 feet 6 inches to win the high jump.

“This year, in high jump, my goals are to stay healthy, jump six feet, and win state,” Florent said. “That would be the best way to finish off my high school jumping career.”

Mila Barzdukas ’15 won the pole vault event with a distance of 8 feet 6 inches.

“I think because we’re still in the beginning stages of our season, it’s a little hard to tell exactly what the expectations for the team are,” Florent said. “However, I know a goal that the team has every year is just to be fully committed to the sport and just do the best we can at every meet.”

While the girls were competing against Louisville, the boys were competing against Crespi and beat the Celts 90-31 as well.

The Wolverines won the 4×100-meter, and Nate Hollander ’17 took first place in the 1600-meter. Justin Golden ’17 won the 400-meter in 54.41 seconds.

Gabriel Jenkinson ’16 won the 100-meter, and Henry Roskin ’16 won the 800-meter as well. Dietrich Tribull ’16 took first place in the 300-meter hurdles race, running it in 46.89 seconds.

Alex Barnum ’16, who carries the team, according to Cole Jacobson ’15, won the 200-meter. Cross country runner Ben Weissenbach ’15 and Roskin took first and second place in the 3200-meter.

Adam Knapp-Wachsner took first in both the long jump and the triple jump. Branden Kim ’15 won the pole vault with a distance of 12 feet.

Jacobson won the discus event by more than 23 feet, hurling the discus 99 feet and four inches.

After doing well in the Oaks Christian Invitational March 7, the boys beat Chaminade, 82-33, on the road March 12, and the girls beat Eagles 90-0, making this meet the first shutout in Head Coach Jonas Koolsbergen’s ’83 27 years coaching at Harvard-Westlake.

Crosson won the 1600-meter, 800-meter and 3200-meter races. Imani Cook-Gist ’15, Lauren Genender ’17, Milligan and Danielle Spitz ’18 won the 4×100 as a team.

“We’ve been doing very well so far,” Copeland said. “Varsity girls have won [both] of our dual meets, and we expect to keep the winning streak going. I’m just trying to do the best I can and help support and motivate my teammates since it’s my last year here, and I don’t want to have regrets about it. I want to have fun and make sure everyone has fun too.”

Cook-Gist also won the pole vault, and Milligan won the 300-meter hurdles event. Genender took first in the 200-meter, and Spitz won the long jump.

Florent also performed in the high jump with a height of five feet and five inches, and Morgan Brown ’15 threw 31 feet and nine inches in the shotput event.

Knapp-Wachsner won the long jump, the high jump and the triple jump, and Barnum ran the 200-meter in 22.61 seconds. Bennett Yee ’17 jumped 12 feet and six inches in the pole vault.

Both teams competed in the Tri-County Invitational Saturday at Moorpark High School, and the boys and girls both swept the sprint events, as Barnum won both the 100-meter and 200-meter events for the boys and Copeland won both the 100-meter and 200-meter events for the girls.

“We, the runners, have been doing a lot of work to make sure our endurance was where it should be,” Copeland said.  “Now we are making sure that our speed is where it should be, so our workouts, like our sets, are getting shorter in terms of distance and we are having less recovery.”

Alexander also won the 1600-meter in the freshman/sophomore division and Weissenbach won the 1600-meter in the junior/senior division. Weissenbach came back this season after missing his entire junior season to cross country-induced knee injury.  Justin Golden won the 800-meter as well.

“It’s all to build towards mid-to-late April and early May when everyone should be peaking,” Copeland said. “[This] is when we should PR, which is basically when you’re hitting your best times.”

Milligan won the 100-meter hurdles, and the Wolverines won the 4×400 meter race. On the field, Florent won the long jump and the high jump, while Yee won the pole vault.

The next meet this season will be a battle of the titans, according to Jacobson, as the undefeated Wolverines will face off against the undefeated Loyola Cubs Thursday. Other upcoming meets include the Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational, the Mount Carmel Invitational, and the two-day Arcadia Invitational. The next league meet after Loyola will be at St. Francis April 16.

“We don’t have expectations for season,” Tribull said. “What we expect is for ourselves and our teammates to work hard during practice and to do everything possible to win our individual events during meets.”