By ANDY ZHOU
The UHS track team started off the season well with the girls team going 2-0 and the boys team going 1-1 in their first two preseason meets against El Modena High School (EMHS) and Godinez High School (GHS), respectively.
The first two meets were indicators of a strong track season ahead for UHS. The boys distance team was able to edge out wins in both pre-league meets in its distance category. However, the team was not able to seal a win against GHS.
The scoring likely contributed to the boys’ loss to GHS. In track and field, each event contains a maximum award of nine points. First place is awarded five points, second place is awarded three points and third place is awarded one point. This point displacement in track means that only top finishers are counted towards the point total and win. Although the distance team was able to win against both EMHS and GHS, the sprint and field categories of track were not able to gather enough points to lead to a victory for the boys track team.
The distance portion of track had a strong showing against both EMHS and GHS. Alex Madrid (Sr.) and Zachary Dignan (Jr.) both ran low five minute miles. Eric Kawana (Sr.) performed even better with a sub-five minute mile. Running these types of times so early into the season is a great indication that, this year, track has a legitimate chance to place highly in league, and possibly send multiple runners to CIF.
For the past few years, the UHS track team has struggled to be a strong, cohesive unit, but hopes to address its problems this year. This year, many of the athletes are extremely motivated to succeed and the seniors on the team are ready to leave high school with a winning season.
Regarding her outlook on the rest of the season, Melissa Lee (Sr.) said, “I believe that we will win by a larger margin than ever before. We have a really strong, really ambitious team this year, and hopefully that means we’ll have an amazing season.”
Sonia Lin (Sr.) led the varsity girls team with a strong performance in the 100 meter hurdles placing first, with a time of 17.2 seconds. Reflecting on her performance and the season as a whole, she said, “this season should be strong. Practice is going well, and all of our runners are motivated to do well and show what they’ve got.”
The team has also performed better so far this season because of the performance of new, incoming players.
“To be honest, the underclassmen are carrying the team,” said Shiva Verma (Sr.). “They work extremely hard and they’re very talented, so I’m positive they can really help the team do better this year.”
The girls team has always been quite strong and with motivated seniors leading the team, everyone has high hopes for how they will perform later on in the season and against other teams in PCL.
“Our girls varsity is really good and really doing well because of incoming players. Boys sprints has also improved a lot,” said Verma.
The team will look for another strong meet against Beckman High School on March 24.