The sun was not even THINKING about getting up yet when we departed ZB on Saturday morning. As the bus rolled out, I was pleased that the only person who was late was the bus driver. When we arrived at the meet, we saw nothing but blue, sunny skies! Although it was windier than I had hoped, it was nothing like our meet on Wednesday. I knew we were ready for great performances!
Field Events: Ne'Zyah and Ximena both earned us points in the shot. Ne'Zyah threw a season PR for outdoor while Ximena threw ANOTHER PR in the event. More importantly, she passed the 30 foot mark, which is a big deal! According to Strickland, she launched it on her first throw. He also noted that later in the meet, she was doing drills to improve her technique. Love her dedication! In the discus, Strickland was particularly impressed that his squad was noting technique issues with other throwers. That ability shows their knowledge of their craft! Ne'Zyah popped a lifetime best in the discus, improving by more than 10 feet! Her impressive performance earned her a 3rd place medal and six points for her team. Awesome work, Ne'Zyah! Audreynah earned a new season PR in the discus, throwing SO MUCH MORE impressively than at Lake Forest. She really stepped up in the moment and earned three points for her team. Nice work, Audreynah!
In the jumps, we had some impressive performances. Mary is really getting the hang of the high jump. She jumped a new lifetime PR of 4'3.5". More importantly, she tied for 8th, earning her first point as a Varsity athlete on our team! Niyanna is improving, too. She is getting the height that she needs; once she perfects the technique, she will be right with Mary. In the horizontal jumps, Coach White reported that our jumpers are making gains in technique, which is so important! He knows that they will be making big jumps soon as they put it all together!
On the track, our 4X800 had a big day. Audrey and Riley started us off so strong, running impressive splits despite fighting off an upper-respiratory illness. When they handed off to Sofia, she had a nice lead to defend. Sofia ran a season PR of 2:50--awesome work, sophomore! Estrella stepped up big for us today. Despite not having a lot of Varsity experience in this event, she anchored our relay with a HUGE PR of 10 seconds. I was so impressed by her posture and poise in this race--she helped our relay earn medals and six points for the team! Awesome work! Speaking of relays...our 4X100 also earned us points, placing 7th. The handoffs are starting to come together, and the time was the fastest of the season so far! Awesome work, Auriel, Taylor, Kennilyn, and Jade!
In the 3200, Lauren and Rachel had great days. Lauren ran a smart race in the wind, earning a medal and six points. She also achieved her race goals of running even and dialing in on her kick. Love that! Rachel did a great job of being competitive with people around her, running a two second PR and earning three points for the team. Awesome work you two!
We did not have anyone in the 100 hurdles today. I pose this as a challenge to the team: in order for us to be competitive in team points, we have to have competitors in every event who are striving to help the team! We automatically give up 10 points in the pole vault, and I am ok with that; it's the only event on the track where you need an implement to HELP you do the event. This week, we are going to have hurdle practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. Come and show me that you deserve a spot at our next invite!
In the 100, despite nursing a mad hamstring, Jade placed 3rd out of the second heat. She not only earned a medal, but she also scored us six points! Taylor had a great race in a ridiculously fast field, running a season PR and coming close to her Sectional performance from last year. She did this while managing a tight hip; she is SO far ahead of last year. Awesome job, Taylor!
In the 800, Aniya broke out of her comfort zone to earn a new lifetime PR of3:16, SIX seconds faster than her previous best. It was so cool to watch! Shout out to Estrella for doubling back in this race with a strong performance and helping lead Aniya in the final meters of the race. Proud of you, senior!
Our 4X200 looked so strong today, sneaking into 8th place for a point from the second heat. I did not get splits, but Kennilyn had a particularly strong leg, and freshie Niyanna looked SO STRONG on her curve. These two stepped up to help our seniors who were running on angry legs. They helped our relay run over a second faster than Wednesday. This relay is SO FAR AHEAD of last year. Once everyone is feeling good, it's going to be cool to watch them rock!
As I mentioned before, there are some heavy-hitting teams at this meet. I know that Riley saw that as she looked at the competition in her heat of the 400. Pre-race, she was nervous, but she didn't let that interfere with her performance. She got out HARD and then finished so strong (like she always does), earning a first place medal and her first sub-60 in an open 400 this year. It was a ridiculously beautiful race, and I could not be more proud of her for being so gutsy! There's no doubt that watching Brionne in the heat before inspired her. Brionne has been battling a bad back for two weeks, but she showed up HUGE today. From the second heat, she tied for 8th place (what are the chances of that down to the hundreths?). More importantly, she ran a big lifetime PR! Watching her strong posture and assertive finish was so much fun. Awesome work, Bri-Bri!
Rachel looked strong in the 200 hurdles, getting out well from the blocks (the best I have seen so far), and finishing strong. She is working on technique, and I have no doubt that she is going to keep improving in this event!
In the mile, I made the decision to sit Audrey, who is not enjoying the early stages of this respiratory infection. With her in the race, we would have undoubtedly picked up a few more points, but that is not worth it to me if it prolongs her illness. Sofia and I made a deal before her race--if she made competitive moods instead of focusing on time, we would consider her race a success. She did exactly that! Not only did she inject several pick-ups in the race, she also got out hard! Awesome job, Sofia!
In the 200, Kennilyn capitalized on an opportunity to shine. Her energy has been amazing at meets this season, and today was the peak of it! She ran a HUGE PR, dropping nearly 2 seconds in the event. Her growth in this event is so important for us being competitive in relays and sprints--proud of you, Ken!
Finally, the 4X400 was so much fun. It started before the event when freshie Niyanna said, "We should do the chants like the guys did at Lake Forest this week." She organized our crew on the curve, cheering for each of our women as they dashed by. Audrey started us so strong with a 63 low and establishing dominance. Riley did what Riley does, extending the lead and rounding out an impressive day of work with ANOTHER sub 60 performance. Lauren looked so impressive against the top talent in the state, competing hard in the final stretch to give Bri the baton even. Bri handled the stress of the anchor position with grit and grace. She pressed SO hard in this race, making the top competitors have to work to find her. In the final stretch, she finished so incredibly hard, looking so good in the final meters. She ran a new PR in the relay, running a 64! This group finished so strong in 4th and earning the team 5 points. More importantly, they ran a time that our relay didn't touch until May 4th last year. We are so far ahead of schedule!
Overall, I enjoyed the energy of this group. From the cheers of the 4X400 to the sunglasses photo shoot, to springint to the bathrooms, it was a really good day overall. I cannot wait to watch everyone race on Monday at home!
Everyone reading: We have the chance to bring THREE people in the 100, 200, and 400 on Saturday, as well as TWO RELAYS in each relay event. On Monday, show off your desire to make it to that invite! Coach Cuttill and I are looking for competitors who want to help our team shine--show up and show out!
Don't forget: We have pictures on Monday before the meet. At the meet, we need your help setting up hurdles as well as taking care of your event prep without prompting. Make sure you are looking out for one another and giving yourself the best chance to shine!