The month of March marks the beginning of the track season. At the All Comers meet on Feb. 18, track welcomed its new members and surveyed other potential runners. In addition to gaining new athletes on the field, the track and field team also welcomes Casey Dicesare, Samo’s new field events coach. Track currently holds an undefeated 2-0 record in league.
Of those present at the meet, sophomore two-year varsity runner Kloey Battista impressed upperclassman runners as she finished 400 meters in just under 60 seconds.
“Kloey is definitely someone to look out for this season,” senior Hannah Kummer said. “We have a lot of new girls this year and a stronger group of hurdlers. At the All Comers meet our 4 x 100 meter group PRed [made a personal best].”
According to coach Lovell Houston and several senior runners, track has vastly improved since previous years, and expects to maintain their standard of excellence.
“Each year I notice the team is getting more serious. All of the freshmen and sophomores are really dedicated,” senior Cassandra Kleiwer said. “I remember my sophomore year I ran a 4 x 400 meter race and lost to the other team by six seconds. The year after that, we beat them by 10 seconds and then last year we beat that team again. It’s great to see how we progress each year.”
Growth is just what coach Lovell Houston expects to see this season. However, it isn’t just the quality of athletic skill that is developing. It is the friendly bond among the athletes that makes for an excellent team.
“I am not changing my method at all, the children are changing. They are a mature group of athletes—in a way they’re like a little sorority,” Houston said who coaches the girls’ sprints team.
Fabien Skyers, boys’ captain agrees, “We [the captains] try to create a good competitive environment for the runners. A lot of the kids are more dedicated and we’re going to train as hard as we can to get to CIF.”
On March 3, Track had their first league meet at Mira Costa High School. Unfortunately, a few girls were injured, including sophomore varsity runner Taylor DeYoung who fell during a race and junior varsity hurdler Dory Meraz who tripped over the hurdles. According to Kleiwer, Meraz was “a trooper,” as she was able to continue running during the 300 meter hurdles.
During the last two meets against Hawthorne on March 15 and Inglewood on March 22, the Samo track team dominated the field in numbers and in energy. The team is preparing for their first away meet at Beverly on March 29. In the season to come, Houston expects the team to improve as a whole with the help of more experienced athletes.
“The older ones look out for the younger ones and make sure they pay attention. They are my little family of runners. Working this way allows us to yield results,” Houston said.