Youngsters Earn League Track Titles

Casey Miller, News Editor

Track and field won both DFAL Frosh-Soph Championships.  Lauren Williams and Robin Powell powered the girls’ squad with three event wins each. The boys’ team won the league title after a close call with Dublin.

Coach Chuck Woolridge said, “The girls had a very high bar considering that they were returning champions and had gone through the season undefeated. They didn’t disappoint. They scored 90 points more than the second place team [Las Lomas].”

Williams set multiple personal records, in spite of the blistering heat.  Tuesday’s high in Dublin was 95 degrees. “After my 400m I was pretty dizzy, and I was dry heaving and pretty emotional and upset. Then I realized I had three minutes to do my long jump, so I just had to kind of pull myself together and mentally prepare for that,” Williams said. The freshman star went on to win the long jump in a personal best.

“On the girls’ side, Lauren Williams was one of our star athletes, she had a huge improvement in the triple jump of 4 feet, and outdistanced the second place in that event by over three feet. She also won the long jump with a new personal best of over 15 feet,” Woolridge added.

Sophomore Tia Dewey earned a personal record as part of the frosh-soph girls’ 400m relay. “The weather was extremely hot, but it didn’t really change our game. The hotter the weather, the more pumped you are for the race. It’s a lot easier to run when it’s hotter because you’re already warmed up for the race,” Dewey explained.

Woolridge said, “Hot weather is great for the sprints and the jumps. It usually results in improvements, but for the distance runners it can be brutal. We had many athletes who were doubling or even tripling in the distance races.” The Cougars dominated the longer events however, with Powell winning the 1600m, 800, and 3200m.  The team managed to place 4 athletes in the top 6 in each of those races.

After winning both horizontal jumps, Williams did have some difficulty, but it wasn’t with her competitors. She and Dewey almost missed their 200m race.  “Despite thinking we weren’t going to be in the 200m Lauren [Williams] and I managed to race well without warming up,” said Dewey.  In fact, Williams ran away with the victory.

“The rest of my teammates also did really well. I’m proud of them. Jaime Brown tied her personal record and won the high jump and discus, and I am also proud of Avery McCafferey. She got a personal record of 7’6″ for pole vault, and won that event,” Williams said.

The boys’ frosh-soph team battled to a 125-125 tie with Dublin, after holding off the Gaels in the 1600 relay. According to Woolridge, “[the tie] ensured that the frosh-soph boys were league champions because the team that had previously beaten them in the regular season, Las Lomas, finished in fourth place.”

Boys standouts included freshman Jason Lin, sophomore Thomas Heutmaker, and freshman Evan Amsden. “Probably the athlete of the week was Thomas Heutmaker, who prior to the meet cut his hair. Some of his teammates suggested that may have contributed to his 3 second improvement on the anchor leg of the 1600m relay. He also set new personal best in both hurdle races,” Woolridge said.

Woolridge said, “Both teams were in contention for league championships, so they were pretty motivated with the prospect of winning those titles. Our teams are perennial contenders for the league championship and they take a lot of pride in that because of all the hard work that they put in and the commitment that they have to the sport.”