Track pushes through first invitational

Coming off a highly decorated 2019 season, the boys track and field team continues to steam through the preseason while athletes achieve new personal records. On the other hand, the girls remain focused on developing a well-rounded team, understanding that there will be growing pains along the way.

The Brahmas displayed their speed at the dual meet against Walnut, where they narrowly fell to the Mustangs. However, at the Brea Olinda invitationals, juniors Zander Morgan, AJ McElrea, Jaydn Sanchez and sophomore Josiah Chin dominated on the track, winning the 4×400 relay event in addition to Sanchez placing first and Chin finishing second in the 400 individuals. 

“The boys did really well at the [Brea Olinda] invitationals; they came in second overall out of 19 teams,” head coach Malinalli Cooke said. “At Walnut, we didn’t lose by that much [points], and a lot of it was because it was so early in the season, and all of our athletes weren’t out yet; for example, some of them were transferring from soccer.

Senior Lukas Amare ran a 4:32.42 to take first in the 1600 at the invitationals with a 10-second berth between him and second place, while the girls had success in the 400-meter race and 100 hurdles, with sophomores Tatiana Sprock running a 1:02.60 personal best and Hillary Nakaishi running an 18.68. Both finished third in their respective races.

“On the girl’s side, we’re still building up the team, so they aren’t going to do as well in the beginning but they are definitely improving from last year, and improvement is always good,” Cooke said.

Returning juniors Keili Ishitani, Allison Ear and Victoria Artale continue to provide leadership and stability for the female distance group while sprinters Sprock and freshman Kareena Sharma showed potential early in their season from the two meets thus far.

Cooke also mentioned that the male junior and senior sprinters will be the backbone in winning meets for the Brahmas, while the jumping teams will require more work before the season begins.  

“Our weakest events are jumps, mostly because we don’t get a chance to practice [jumps] a lot,” Cooke said. “We have a part-time coach, so we don’t get a lot of work put in jumping, so that’s not anybody’s fault.” 

According to junior team captain Nathan Sinn, the team chemistry across all events has been a lot better than the previous year’s. Instead of the older runners and younger runners sticking with people of the same age, there is more camaraderie among all grade levels.

Due to weather conditions last Thursday, the team was not able to continue their planned dual meet against Montclair. As for later meets, the Brahmas are not scheduled to compete in any invitationals or league meets until further notice because of the coronavirus.