Staying on track with competitive goals

Despite the lack of new recruits, the Diamond Bar High School’s track and field team started their season off on the right foot at their March 5 meet at Chino High School. 

Head coach Malinalli Cooke says the team did well considering the fact that the pandemic has made it more challenging to find underclassmen willing to try out for the team. 

Regardless of the team’s youth, the girls team took third place overall, ranking first in the 1600 meter sprint medley, and the boys team took second place in the 4×400, ranking first in the 1600 meter sprint medley as well. 

Just as she predicted, both sprints teams did exceptionally well, placing fifth in the master records of all track and field teams since the beginning of DBHS. 

“I know our sprints team has always been strong, at least since I have been coaching. I know that this year’s girls team is probably the best girls team we have had since I have been here,” Cooke said. “We have some of our best athletes back from pre-pandemic times and a couple of new athletes that are pretty strong.”

However, what Cooke is concerned about is not the team’s sprint events; it is the obstacles that need to be overcome regarding field events. 

“We do not have any field event coaches at the moment, and so it is very hard to recruit kids to do field when we do not have any coaches to actually coach them,” she said. “Right now, our field events have been populated by the kids who have been on the team in the past, but we are not really getting a lot of fresh blood in there.”

Because of these hurdles, Cooke decided to focus on team-building more than anything this season. 

“I feel like we are still in a building year. So, I think what I would really like to accomplish is just to have the kids do the best that they can do,” she said. “Maybe get some people to get new personal records and potentially get our team out there and get recognized.”

Nonetheless, Cooke does know that the team has the ability to shine in the CIF Prelims as well as the League Prelims. 

The team’s next event will be held at the Covina District Stadium, which is on March 19.