West Girls’ Sprints Team Kicks Off Season at PV High

Seconds+away+from+the+finish+line%2C+Amor+Jones+%2811%29+gives+it+her+all+in+a+battle+for+first+against+the+Palos+Verdes+sprinter+in+the+varsity+girls%E2%80%99+200m+race.+On+Saturday%2C+March+20th%2C+West+High+Track+%26+Field+kicked+off+their+season+with+a+friendly+dual+meet+against+Palos+Verdes+High+School.+Jones+described+her+feelings+about+returning+to+the+track+for+races+once+again%3A+%E2%80%9CI+can+admit+I+was+nervous%2C+but+me+being+nervous+I+feel+made+me+more+prepared...+while+I+was+running+it+felt+like+I+was+floating+in+a+way.%E2%80%9D

Art/Photo by Sullivan Kolakowski

Seconds away from the finish line, Amor Jones (11) gives it her all in a battle for first against the Palos Verdes sprinter in the varsity girls’ 200m race. On Saturday, March 20th, West High Track & Field kicked off their season with a friendly dual meet against Palos Verdes High School. Jones described her feelings about returning to the track for races once again: “I can admit I was nervous, but me being nervous I feel made me more prepared… while I was running it felt like I was floating in a way.”

Lauren Ng, Sports & Opinion Editor

   The bright spring sun shines down on the vast field below. Racers line up side by side, lane by lane with the rust-colored track beneath their fingertips and their feet ready to push off from the sleek metal starting blocks. 

   On Saturday, March 20th, members of West High Track were engulfed by these familiar sensations as the season kicked off with a dual Track & Field meet at Palos Verdes High. While the number of athletes was significantly reduced for both Warriors and Sea Kings, the meet still held various events. West’s Girls’ Sprints team shared their experiences from the meet, as well as a glimpse into the world of training.

   Miss Yang, who coaches Girls’ Sprints, described their training as a mix of endurance, conditioning, and speed work: vital aspects of running shorter distances. 

Like all other athletes on campus, they complete the COVID-19 health screener upon arrival to practice. After kicking off with a warm-up, the team works through “drills and stretches… and then we have the workout for the day. And then we’ll do some sort of core exercise at the end,” Miss Yang said.

   Miss Yang commended her athletes for maintaining exercise at home: “We had to get in shape really fast, but actually, a lot of them had been working out on their own” prior to the start of in-person practices. “I’m really lucky I have girls who are really passionate about the sport and who really want to be good,” she expressed. 

   Although the usual competition intensity was not as high with fewer athletes and only two competing schools, Miss Yang looked forward to the races regardless: “I’m just excited for them to be able to compete and to have official times on their records,” she shared before the meet.

   Amor Jones (11), Varsity Track athlete, competed in four Girls’ Sprints events on Saturday. She has continued to train at home after last year’s shortened season: “I couldn’t just let all that hard work go to waste and become a couch potato,” she affirmed. The team completes longer runs to enhance their stamina, as well as shorter sprints to practice form and maintain acceleration. 

   Along with three other teammates, Jones competed in two relays: the 100-meter and 400-meter races. But the 100-meter solo dash left spectators on the edge of their seats; Jones and a Palos Verdes sprinter ran neck and neck. But as they approached the finish line, Jones’s opponent tripped. Pushing forward, Jones came out victorious in the race. 

   The 200-meter dash was a tight race between Jones and the same runner once again. But by a mere 0.15 seconds, Jones’s competitor pulled ahead. After the meet, Jones shared that this particular event was extremely close: “With more hard training, I’ll be so much better next time.”

     While this is only the beginning, Jones feels that her training has already been rewarding: “I learned a lot as far as training more to make me stronger, but for this to be the first meet in a while I did great… everything was in motion and was flowing the right way and I feel like the hard work [paid] off.”

  Varsity Track athlete Karah Lee (12) also ran in the 4×100 relay and 200-meter dash, as well as the 400-meter dash. On the starting line, she pinpoints her focus on “race strategy and positive affirmations.” During the race itself, the finish line is the ultimate goal in sight. 

   While practice serves as preparation for the races, Lee is also mindful of what occurs prior to practice: “I make sure to fuel properly and usually take a nap for optimal performance,” she explained. In addition, she also has a post-race tradition: getting boba. “Nothing a cup of sugar can’t solve,” she confirmed.

   While Lee considers this race “definitely not my best,” she does not allow setbacks to hinder her future successes. A strong mentality propels her forward as an athlete: “I give myself a few hours to dwell on it and then move on. I can’t let past results affect my motivation for the next race.” Especially because this season will only consist of five dual meets, Lee feels “grateful for the opportunity to race, regardless of the outcome.”