Striding Forward

With difficult restrictions to the season, the track team strives to take on the competition.

Kellen Edwards, Features Editor

Track season has started and, even though there are some restrictions, there is still the same urgency to compete as any other year. With the season just beginning there’s a lot of work to do in a very limited amount of time to get ready for the season and improve from last year.

“Although this past year and 2021 have created some unfortunate circumstances, the season doesn’t feel too different. Yes we have face masks, we have to socially distance ourselves and we may have to clean everything after we use it, but in the end we still get to work out and carry out our season,” explained junior Karina Polak.

The head Track Coach Scott Schepens has plans for the year to improve the program and enhance the abilities of every athlete while maintaining the newly imposed restrictions.

With many new freshmen on the team, the group had been organizing beach practices and other activities as a way to bond with one another before the season. Also with many veteran track members, they hold the responsibility of performing at their highest level to inspire others on the team to do the same.

“Being a senior athlete comes with the responsibility of setting the bar for the freshmen. On the other hand, I’ve also got the responsibilities as a senior captain. Alongside setting an example with my personal times, I need to set an example for the team with my attitude,” clarified senior Sprints Captain Noah Stemen.

Training has been more intense this year compared to past seasons in order to make up for the lost time from last year. The team is also more driven to succeed in their goals and to prepare for upcoming track meets against Mission Viejo and Aliso Viejo High School. Because the team is limited to practicing in small groups at a time, the coaches are able to be more involved with each individual athlete to ensure that they are improving at a consistent rate and that they are able to experiment with other events that they may like more. 

“Running has always been a relief for me, and running track trains me in a different way than distance. Also, track and field is perhaps the broadest, multifaceted sport. Getting to see people experiment and to lead them as an upperclassman and a captain is really cool!” exclaimed junior Hurdles Captain Sebastian Elizarraras.

During practice, they break off into groups based on their events and critique minor adjustments in form or work on strength and conditioning to help the athletes reach their goals and highest potential. Even though they may accomplish their unique goals individually, they still come together to celebrate their successes as a team.

“The track team is one of the best communities that I am a part of. While we typically compete as individuals in races and other competitions, we all push each other to reach new limits and hit quicker times. It’s just such a supportive group of people,” elucidated Stemen.

With the track team’s intense preparation for the season, they are hoping to be able to compete against more ambitious teams and overall improve as a program alongside their teammates. With the team’s high expectations, the results throughout the season are immensely anticipated.