Track Aims for Fourth Consecutive DFAL Title

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Nikki Honda, Staff Writer

Dan Gabor Distance and Sprint Festival gave the track athletes a chance to display all the work they have put in over the past four weeks.

Athletes ran in the Distance Festival on Friday March 9th and the Sprint Festival on March 10th at Amador Valley High School. Standout performances came from Rhea Jayachandran in the 100m hurdles and Ben Weinberg in the 1600m.

The Track and Field team begins their season with the Red vs. Blue Practice Meet on Friday, March 2, followed by the Dan Gabor Distance and Sprint Festival on March 9th and 10th.

Head coach Chuck Woolridge said athletes are sorted into event groups, which include a sprint, hurdle and jump group, a throw group, and a distance group. The first month of the season is devoted to a progression of training. Woolridge said, “We’ve really only been working on general fitness to build a foundation for more specific training later in the season.”

The Red vs. Blue Practice Meet is an inter-squad competition held at Campo. Woolridge said the purpose is so “everyone can compete in a low pressure environment, and to help rookies learn how meets work.”

The Dan Gabor meet at Amador Valley High School is the first official contest of the season for the team.

Captain Darren Brodowy said, with the transition to a new hurdle coach and talented opponents returning on other teams in the league, it will be a tough season. As a captain, Brodowy shoulders a responsibility to develop younger athletes in addition to his individual performance. He said, “I do my best to teach and instruct new athletes in their events and keep the team as a whole.”

Fellow senior Rhea Jayachandran said her new role as captain consists of “helping lead warmups, teaching everyone drills, and making sure everyone knows what they’re doing.”

The team’s turnout this year shows considerable growth in the program.  The total roster for the squad has risen to 114, compared to about 95 in previous seasons. The girls’ team, in particular, has seen a resurgence, with several from soccer and basketball trying the sport for the first time.  Given the lost contributions from Megan Nelson, one of last year’s key league championship contributors, this year’s team will need new talent to step up in order to continue the DFAL title streak, which stands at three consecutive years.

The boys team will be dependent on veterans, with Brodowy joined by experienced seniors like Chris Maag, Tony Knox and Thomas Joyce.  Long sprinter Ryan Hoffman, is expected to be one of the few sophomores making an impact on an otherwise senior dominated roster.