Paly’s first track meet against Saratoga High School last Thursday, March 7, was a promising start for the Viking runners. The Vikings beat Saratoga High by a large margin, which was an exciting way to start the season.
The meet was considered a success by many runners.
“We all ran well as a group under the conditions of the weather but also all the relays got good handoffs,” senior and team captain Matt Tolbert said.
Although the season is off to a good start, some runners are skeptical that the team will live up to last year’s successes.
“I think we will have success this year, maybe not as much as last year,” Tall said. “We have a lot of areas where we can improve and hopefully we can do that.”
Junior runner Jackson Hansen also hopes to see the track team improve this season. With numerous strong runners on the team, Hansen believes that the team has the potential to grow from last year’s successes.
“The competition we have within the team means that we are all going to push each other really hard this year,” Hansen said. “Hopefully we can all make a lot of progress from last year.”
The season has begun with a series of changes, with many old faces gone on the team, a vast number of freshman runners and several new coaches. New coaches this season include distance coach Kelsey Felley and the jumping coach who coached previously for Paly track. The team has not yet found a hurdles coach to replace LaVonna Floreal, who moved to Kentucky after last season along with her son, track star EJ Floreal.
In addition, the jumping team has been unable to train as usual this season since the jumping pit was destroyed during bleacher construction. Because of this, Paly’s home meets are to be held at other locations for a major part of the season. A new jumping pit is planned to be dug in May.
Despite the changes, senior Tia Rabinovitz, who is new to the track team, is excited to see what the track team has to offer.
“I’m really excited to see the improvement this season,” Rabinovitz said. “I can already tell there are so many techniques I had no idea existed in track. It’s fun to get to be a part of a new [Paly athletic team].”
The next meet is an away meet on March 21 against Mountain View High School, who some consider to be Paly’s toughest competition.