Track Athletes Show Progress at Halden


Colin Jones, Staff Writer

The Halden track & field Invitational at Davis Senior High School offered perfect conditions and comparable competition to athletes looking to set season best marks in the midst of their spring season. The meet, attended by approximately 20 teams from Norther California was held on April 11.

“The Halden [Invitational] was a great opportunity for athletes to run in heats, seeded with like-ability competitors. That resulted in several personal bests,” said head coach Chuck Woolridge.

Woolridge was excited to see his top 800 meter runners, sophomore Niki Moore and senior Parker Lothamer, break the 2 minute mark. Moore finished with a time of 1:57, nearly a 4 second improvement from his pervious best.

The boys’ longer-distance races enjoyed a wealth of improvements a well. “In the longer distances, [sophomore] JJ Yabu led our team with a 9:35 3200-meter time,” Woolridge said. “[Senior] Kevin Buckley and [junior] Nathaniel Sauerberg also set new personal bests.”

Events included the aforementioned 800 and 3200 meter races, hurdles, shot-put, and discus. Sophomore runner Marla Wong said that she set new personal bests in all the events, and was the top finisher for her squad. “I placed for Frosh/Soph overall, which is really nice,” she said. “I think a lot of people did really well.”

“I think [my favorite event was] the 100-meter hurdles,” said Wong. “Usually, it’s the 300 meter hurdles, but at this meet it was the 100-meters.”

Wong ran a 52-second 300-meter hurdle time, which Woolridge said was of “varsity caliber.”

However, the meet also revealed areas for improvement. “We really need to focus on improving our depth in the girls’ throwing events,” said Woolridge. “We [also] need to be more consistent in the field events, particularly with pole vault and high jump, which are highly technical events that require a lot of practice and a lot of focus.”

The veteran coach was especially please with the progress made by his younger athletes. “Our young Frosh/Soph hurdlers showed great improvement, ” said Woolridge. “We looked strongest in the 3200-meter event but there were personal bests across the board.”

Sophomore Lauren Williams, who placed 5th in the girls’ 100 meter dash, and freshman Hannah Ruane, who came in 3rd in the girls’ 1600 meter run, were just a few of the varsity highlights.

One of the team’s veteran stars, senior thrower Jack Shurtz, who Woolridge described as that backbone of the varsity team, threw over 150 feet in discus and over 40 feet in shot-put.

The track and field team will visit Las Lomas for a Diablo Foothill Athletic League [DFAL] meet on April 22.