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Track and field anticipates win despite early losses, multiple injuries this season

The track and field season has started with numerous personal records (PRs) and team wins just three weeks into the season.

“We have some kids who have done exceptionally well, (and) had some great PRs and seasonal PRs. The team goal is to win our league, and to qualify as many kids as we can through the postseason into sectionals and into states, if possible.”

Head Coach Michael Davidson

The first meet of the season was away at Lynbrook on Feb. 26 and the boys frosh/soph team took home a win.

Paly runners also found individual success. In the 3200 meter race, senior and boys varsity captain Henry Saul and senior Donald Taggart placed first and second, respectively.

Girls varsity captain and junior Miranda Jimenez placed first in the 1600 meter race by a margin of over 20 seconds.

Despite these strong individual performances, both varsity teams as well as the girls JV team lost.

“From a team perspective, not off to (as) strong (a) start as we had hoped, but we’ve had some really good individual performances,” Davidson said. “If you look at us on the scorecard, unfortunately we’ve lost —  (with) most of the groups, it’s been kind of hit or miss.”

At the Bellarmine Kiwanis K-Bell Track and Field Classic on March 9, the boys frosh/soph team placed third among nearly 30 other schools.

Saul snagged first in the 3200 meter with a season record of 9:21.81, while Taggart came in fourth running a PR of 9:39.78.

Sophomore Aleksei Seletskiy placed first and ran a PR of 4:36.49 in the 1600 meter, and freshman Rishi Tella achieved a PR and placed first in the boys frosh/soph long jump.

On March 12, the team competed against Los Altos at home —  all teams but girls JV lost.

However, several Vikings exhibited great individual performances: in the girls JV 1600 meter, sophomores Gretchen Berndt, Emilie Difide and Anna Roth took first, second and third, respectively.

“We really wanted to do well against (Los Altos),” Davidson said. “Unfortunately, there were a lot of injuries going on and a lot of people who could not compete —  which made that kind of difficult.”

Last Saturday, March 16, the team competed at the Saint Francis Invitational, where several athletes placed in the top three and dozens earned PRs.

The Arcadia Invitational, which will take place April 5-6, is one of the biggest upcoming meets the team has to look forward to in the next few weeks.

The meet is exceptionally difficult to qualify for —  as of now, only Saul has qualified for the meet in the 3200 meter.

“A lot of people want to get to Arcadia. That’s definitely a big goal that a bunch of people are looking (to achieve)”.

Junior Kai Douglas

Next week, the team is competing at the Serra Top 7 Invitational on March 23 followed by an away meet against Los Gatos on March 26.

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