Track team falls to Del Norte

Amy Wang, Web Editor

For shot put and discus thrower Kaiwei Shi (10), the force he puts into every throw is all the product of training and practice. In the May 1 track meet against Del Norte, giving his all in every try was exactly what he did.

“I just try to be explosive every time no matter what,” Shi said. “And that really paid off today. Coming into it, I wasn’t expecting very much but I surprised myself by throwing two feet past what I usually do at practice.”

After hours each week spent training in the dusty sandlot next to the football field, his effort came to fruition when he achieved personal records (PRs) in both his events. While standard restrictions were in place and face masks were required, they did not do much to dampen enthusiasm, and Shi placed second in shot put and plans on improving on his current throw of 32 feet.

Overcoming and adapting to change has been a common theme of the last year, and this has been no different for track. Despite a rocky start to a season that has had to make both major and minor adjustments, many athletes were simply grateful to be able to compete at all. This enthusiasm manifested itself in the multiple seasonal records (SRs) achieved at the meet, many of which gave students new goals to try to reach during the rest of the season. 

Milena Wilson (11) achieved a PR in her 1600-meter race, where she placed third overall against nine other competitors. Strategic thinking and balance played a role in her achievement, she said, especially in the final lap, where Wilson managed to surge ahead and pass the runner ahead of her.

“I always ask myself if I want to speed up and exert a lot of energy,” Wilson said. “That, or try and catch them when they slow down. My goal when running is definitely to pace myself. It’s always helpful to know my split times, so I can know roughly how much of a change to my pace that I need to make.”

Boys 1600-meter runners also did exceptionally well, with Westview placing in the top three. Further success came in the form of a similar achievement in high jump. Yet despite hard work and personal improvement, Westview ended the day with a cumulative loss. The score of 88-47 for boys events and 32-102 for girls events left room for improvement. 

Regardless of the overall score, the match was both a learning experience and an inflection point for many students. Though not every event was an ultimate win, it felt good to get out on the field, says Henry Foster (11).

“Overall I think it was a good day,” Foster said. “There are things that I’d like to improve on, of course. By the end of the season I’d like to hit 11.2 seconds [on my 100-meter sprint] but I definitely feel like I did well today. I feel good about it.”

Foster placed in all of his events, including the 100-meter, 200-meter, 4×100 relay, and high jump. His success has helped him set benchmarks for the rest of the season, especially in his individual events.

There were several close calls throughout the meet, beginning with the boys 200-meter sprint and ending with the final event of the day, the girls 4×400 relay race. Despite a fluctuating lead, Westview teams won first for both boys and girls.

Edmund Sumpena (11), whose team won 4×400 relay race, was satisfied with how he had performed.

“I definitely pushed myself at the beginning,” Sumpena said. “And at the end, I feel like I gave it my all. There were definitely some mistakes that I can improve on, but at least I have the rest of the season for that.”