People Who Run For Fun

Track season began and the team has a bright future

In the Olympic Games, there are 44 different events in track and field. In Juan Diego, there are 33. 33 different events that someone can compete in, but only one team .The first day of track practice was February 22, and from the start, all different kinds of talent blew the coaches away. A week into the season, the coaches put together a time trial where everyone had to try every event so they could put kids in their proper events. There were kids who jumped insane lengths, kids who sprinted lightning speed, and kids who threw insanely far.

Freshman Isabella Pickers ran an insane 13.57 second 100 meter dash.  “I have been doing track for 3 years,” she says. “I started in 5th grade with a local track team… but in 7th grade I joined a USATF competitive team.” She is looking forward to the 2021 season and is looking forward to starting competing. “I am very excited for this season, and i’m feeling pretty confident because we have such a great team with lots of talented kids.” she continues. “I think we are going to be having a really successful season.” she finishes.

Emmalyn Jacobs and Ellie Abundo getting ready to race

Sophomore Emmalyn Jacobs jumped an impressive 14 feet 4 inches at the time trial. “I’ve been doing track for two years.” she says.” I’ve also been jumping for two years as well.” Not only does she jump, but she also sprints. “Other events I do are the 100m dash, long jump, and high jump.” she finishes.

Sophomore Phl Reilly has been a dedicated runner ever since he started cross country last June and has continued to build his strength to have a successful track and field season. “All my hard work building stamina in cross country and anaerobic strength in swim is going to culminate in this year’s Track & Field season,” Reilly said.  Phl is regarded as a hard-core distance runner and says, “I’ll be exclusively running distance: the one mile and the two mile.” His favorite thing about track he says, is the focus that it brings him. “For me, running is a way to orient my mind toward positive life choices and realistic goals.”

A first time track runner, sophomore Catherine Stephens, scored a lot of points for her team at the time trial. Although she is new to track and field, she is not new to doing sports. “I’ve tried out many sports before.” she begins. “Currently, I play volleyball, but soccer and power tumbling are the ones that I did for the longest time.” she continues. The events that she wants to run are the 100 meter dash, long jump, and possibly shot put.

Boko Nannemann and Makuei Lueth warming up (Emma Shami)

This is also sophomore Boko Nannemann’s first year doing track as well, but nevertheless, he ran a 5:04 mile. “ I did cross country for 2 years before freshman year. I have also been doing football and basketball as well.” he says. Although the events that the coaches placed him in surprised him, he trusts the process.  “This year I hope to do the 400 and the mile. ” he continues. “I was surprised that I got put into the distance because I definitely thought my strength was sprints.” “I know the coaches are just putting everyone where they think they can help the team most..I trust them and feel confident that distance is the right place for sure!”

Samantha Lengrich a senior is a mid-distance runner and a thrower. “I was never really a thrower, but I’m excited to do shot put this year and earn the team some points.” she says. While throwing at meets isn’t what she expected she likes it. “ I enjoy training for both throws and distance because it keeps me in shape and builds my upper body at the same time.” she continues. “This year I will likely compete in shot pit, the 400 and the 800.” she finishes.

Maya Lentz practicing hurdles (Emma Shami)

Maya Lentz’s main event is hurdles, and with Tana Vea no longer coaching at Juan Diego, has taken over the hurdles squad.“I have been a part of track since my eighth-grade year. I tried hurdles, fell in love, and have never turned back.” she says. She enjoys hurdles because they aren’t the typical running event. “Hurdles are a very unique part of track and field and can be so much fun.” When asked about being in charge of the group, she said “It has been a big responsibility to take charge of the group, but I am figuring it out day by day and I just hope to share my love for the sport by the end of the season. “

There is a wide variety of talent in the track program this year and many things to do. Each event is exciting, unique, and difficult in its own way. The Juan Diego track and field team is full of individual talent.