The track team hosted its first home meet on Saturday, April 17 with Clark and Centennial High Schools and Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory School all competing at Valley.
After a year off from high school sports, coaches and students have been looking forward to getting back to work.
“The first couple meets of the year went really well,” Head Coach James DeSalvo said. “We are adjusting to many of the new protocols set in place for this school year. Our team is small, but I am glad to have the athletes I do because they are hard working.”
While the track team has many returning athletes, they also have new students joining the team after the pandemic kept sports on hold for a year.
“The team has many athletes new to track and field, and they are eager to learn,” DeSalvo said. “Our returning athletes are showing them what hard work looks like and leading the way. The efforts from everyone were great, and I look forward to everyone improving throughout the rest of the season.”
Coach DeSalvo said the athletes are happy to be back in school and “leading the way in opening the school back up.” They look forward to practice and are eager for the weekend competitions.
“It feels amazing to be back and start taking care of myself, both physically and mentally,” senior 1600 runner Naomi Reyes said. “I am definitely trying to push myself as hard as I can while still taking care of my body! Seeing my team and feeling the positive energy again is also what makes this experience worth it even if it is only a short season. ”
Since the team is small, all athletes on the team are valuable, but there is a standout freshman already.
“Everyone on the team has their place and helps score points,” DeSalvo said. However, “an athlete of note early in the season is Elizebeth Mahavong, a freshman on the girls team who has already qualified for regionals in the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter run.”
Girls’ team assistant coach Sergio Segura helps to push his athletes.
“Coach Segura, no matter what, always has full faith in his team’s capabilities,” Segura said. “He pushes us to do our best and always makes sure we are doing okay physically, and if we aren’t, he focuses on getting us to feel better. Unlike most coaches, he cares about his team and never pushes us too far if he knows we are injured. He is also very funny and loves to crack jokes during practice with my team!!”