By Skylar Graham ’20
The boys’ and girls’ track and field teams are having a successful start to their season. The program is split into four teams: varsity, junior varsity, freshman/sophomore and middle school. The head of the program is Jonas Koolsbergen. This season, the team also introduced two new coaches, Joy Eaton, Head of the Middle teams and Diana Woodruff.
The upper school track and field teams started the season strong, opening with the boys defeating Crespi 89-32 on and the girls defeating Louisville 66-54 on March 2.The Crespi win was in large part due to their success with relays, pole vaults and long jump all, receiving first place, and the girls dominating the sprinting events. The team continued its winning streak at home against Brentwood, Oakwood, Pacifica Christian and Crossroads on March 7, with a score of 127 – 40.
“The team is extremely talented, has terrific work ethic, competitive spirit and passion. It is definitely an excited team to coach and be a part of,” Koolsbergen said.
Last season, the team excelled, going undefeated into the Mission League Championship. Seventeen members of the team made it to CIF playoffs individually, including 2017 varsity captain Mason Rodriguez ‘18.
On March 7 the team competed in the Tri County Invitational with a field of 32 teams. Overall, the freshmen-sophomore team, both girls and boys, placed very well in the sprinting events and the varsity team placed in the 800 meter and 2 mile races. Tierni Kaufman ‘19 had a clean sweep in the jumping events. The varsity team beat St. Francis 77-49 on March 16 and their Mission League rival, Notre Dame, 75-52 on March 23
The team competed in the Laguna Beach Trophy Invitational, and did extremely well according to Koolsbergen. All athletes competed against their grade instead of their specified squad on the team. There were many meet champions including Kaufman ‘19 in the high jump, James Chung ‘19 for the 100 and Giana Hubbard ’19 in the 100 and 200 meter. Chung ’19 also broke the freshmen/sophomore meet record for the 200 meter and Brayden Borquez ’19 broke the record in the 300 meter hurdles.
“I think that we are dominating when it comes to running events and the field events. Each meet is an opportunity to improve so we can show that we are a threat and [can make it to CIF],” shot put and discus thrower Josue Martin ‘20 said.
Currently the boys’ varsity team has a 6-0 overall record and the girls are 7-0. They will compete in the triangular meet vs. Brentwood, Oakwood and Crossroads on Tuesday at home, but the results were unavailable as of press time.
The middle school team introduced two new coaches, head of middle school team Joy Eaton and Diana Woodruff. The team kicked off the season this February and competed in their first meet vs. Oaks Christian School on March 21.
“We are off to a good start, and this team is big and talented and exciting… It is going to be a terrific season. We are in a position to have fun and do very, very well,” Koolsbergen said.
According to the middle school coaches, they have a great team and are improving every practice. The first couple weeks of training consisted of drills and long distance running to condition for the season and build up their endurance.
“There has been a lot of running and it’s been pretty warm, but everyone is working hard and trying to achieve their individual goals,” sprinter Josephine Amakye ‘21 says
Even though they are only a few weeks into the season, the runners feel that they are getting in good shape and believe they will prove themselves as a force to be reckon with. Their next meet is on Thursday at Notre Dame High School.
“Our coaches push us hard in practice because they want to see us win and be the best we can be,” sprinter Spencer Flippen ‘21 said.