Track and field team concentrates on win in upcoming meet

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Photo by Kate Hawley

Freshmen Meilani Rodgers and Tori Ketzler line up at the start line in practice.

The air is hot and sticky over the James A. Coles field, but that is no match for the track and field team. As they slowly trickle through the entrance to the stadium and onto the field, the coaches set up jump ropes, speed ladders, hurdles, and cones for the upcoming workout. The athletes lace up their shoes and talk to each other as they wait for the practice to start. As they talk, they start to stretch and loosen their muscles. A whistle blows, then the hard work begins.

We don’t have many people that do hurdles so all of the hurdle points go to the other team.”

— Meilani Rodgers

The team has competed in two meets so far this season but has lost both of them. One reason the team is struggling to win meets is because of shortages of athletes to participate in certain events. “We don’t have many people that do hurdles so all of the hurdle points go to the other team,” freshman Meilani Rodgers said.

The next meet was against Churchill on May 27, and the team was hungry for a win. One of the most competitive events of the meet will be the boys 100m sprint. Sophomore Ryeed Zaman finished the race in 11.92 seconds at the last meet against Walter Johnson, which is only 0.66 milliseconds slower than the fastest 100m runner from Churchill.

Another competitive event will be the 4x800m in both boys and girls groups, however, the girls race will likely be more competitive. Rodgers, freshman Tori Ketzler, and sophomores Rebecca Vasconez and Maya Gottesman are all on the 4x800m relay team. According to Athletic.net, the girls relay team is ranked third out of all 4x800m Maryland high school girls’ relay teams.

Senior Iman Idrissa is one of the best sprinters and high jumpers on the team and has recently come off a minor injury. She was optimistic about the meet, where she will likely be key to the team’s success as one of the only high jumpers. “Even though I haven’t performed as well as I’d have liked, I’m just getting back into the swing of things. Getting back into competition 100% is what my focus has been on,” Idrissa said.

While the team is keen on winning upcoming meets, they are still having fun in practice. Many athletes on the team are participating in track and field, not for the competitions, but to reconnect with friends and get exercise. “I like the team atmosphere the most about track, and how everyone is so supportive of each other,” junior Dylan Safai said.

The Churchill meet was expected to be be extremely competitive, with both teams having dominance in some events. Because of the skill level of both teams, it was hard to tell who would come out on top at the end of the meet. The only thing that was predictable is that the meet would be exciting and challenging for both teams.