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Track and field: Seniors leave it all on the track

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The varsity boys at the start of the 800m race at Lowell on May 3. From left to right: junior Henry Lei, senior Garrett Lee, junior Donald Chung, senior Maximilian Tiao, senior Emil Rodriguez, a Balboa Buccaneer and a Burton Puma. Photo by Susan Wong

O n May 3, the Cardinals ran their last home meet of the season against the Balboa Buccaneers and the I.C.A. Spartans. The Galileo Lions, Burton Pumas, and the O’Connell Boilermakers shared the field. Together, the younger Cardinals worked together to surprise the seniors with individualized posters to cheer them on.

CAREY it home, LEEve it on the track,” read a poster for senior Carey Lee displayed on the fence by the bleachers. Lee has been on the team for four years and being at her last ever home meet brought back many sentimental memories. “When you go through so much with your friends and teammates it really brings you closer together and it also fosters that sense of a family and a team,” she said.

Senior thrower and jumper Nomin Rinchin’s teammates watch her throw the shot put. Photo by Susan Wong

The track team’s comradery is one of the many reasons that runners like senior Kenzie Weiss-Mercord have stayed on the team for four years. Upon leaving Lowell, Weiss-Mercord will miss the support she has feels from her friends on the team. “There’s just this sense of community where everyone pays attention to one another and really supports each other,” she said.

Throughout their past four years, the seniors have not only gained speed, but have also gathered friends. To seniors like Alex Parker, the bonds built on the field are just as important as the races ran. “Wanting to get better and wanting to get faster has definitely kept me on the team, but it’s also the people that has made me enjoy staying on the team,” Parker said. “Without the people it wouldn’t be any fun.”

The varsity girls cheered each other on while they conquered their events. In the 4x100m relay, they passed their competition with a time of 52.13, placing first.

Left: Go! Go! Go! Senior Eva Pak dashes for the finish line in the girls varsity 400m. Right: Sophomore Allison Jou springs into the sandpit in the long jump. Photos by Susan Wong

In the 1600m run, senior Victoria Huang and junior Sophia Riordan placed first and third with times of 5:43.5 and 5:48.7, respectively.

In the 100m 33” hurdles, juniors Zinnia Finn and Esther Chung leaped into first and second place with times of 18.2 and 18.5, respectively.

In the 100m dash, senior Lena O’Grady and juniors Kathleen Mai and Emily Liu came in first through third with times of 12.9, 13.1, and 13.3, respectively.

In the 800m run, senior Natalie Ewe soared into first place with a time of 2.21.0.

In the 300m 36” hurdles, junior Zinnia Finn took second place with a time of 52.7.

Senior Lena O’Grady nears the finish of her leg of the 4x400m relay. Photo by Susan Wong

In the 400m dash, seniors Eva Pak and Carey Lee sprinted into first and third place with times of 1:04.8 and 1:07.3, respectively. “No matter how fast you might run it, everyone dies out at the last 100 [meters], so you just have to give it your all,” said Pak. “That’s the kind of mindset I have when running the [400m]: to just leave it all on the track.”

In the 200m dash, O’Grady, Liu and Mai placed first through third with times of 26.7, 27.5, and 28.1, respectively.

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Varsity boys also surpassed their competition. In the 4x100m relay, they placed first with a time of 45.8.

In the 1600m run, senior Ian Lawrence, junior James Holcombe and senior Max Tiao placed first through third with times of 4:39.4, 4:48.5, and 4:48.8, respectively.

Left: Sophomore Christopher Bautista stares down the track during the 300m hurdle race. Right: Senior Linus Ng competes in the 4x400m relay at his last home meet. Photos by Susan Wong

In the 110m 33” hurdles, senior Joe Huang jumped into third place with a time of 18.3.

In the 400m run, senior Linus Ng and juniors Jonah Nascimento and Noah Battaglia finished in first through third place with times of 52.8, 55.0, and 56.7, respectively.

In the 100m dash, junior Jovin Cheung flew into first place with a time of 11.5.

In the 800m run, seniors Emil Rodriguez and Maximillian Tiao and junior Henry Lei secured first through third place with times of 2:01.2, 2:10.2, and 2:11.0, respectively.

Runners from both varsity and frosh-soph in the mixed 3200m race try to cut into lane 1. Photo by Susan Wong

In the 200m dash, senior Kegan Woodhouse and junior Jovin Cheung placed first and third with times of 23.5 and 23.7, respectively.

In the 3200m run, junior Ian Lawrence, senior Liam Klaiman and junior Ryan Lee placed first through third with times of 10:18.3, 10:27.3, and 11:09.5, respectively. As with most runners, they hoped to set personal records. “The goal is to PR every meet,” said Klaiman, the captain of the distance team, “but you don’t want to take things too seriously, because then mentally it’s too tough on you.”

Focus! Freshman Crystal Grissom competing in the third leg of the 4x400m relay. Photo by Susan Wong

The graduating seniors have some words of advice for next year’s varsity runners: “Put your heart into [track], because you only put out what you put in,” Klaiman said. “Put everything you have into it.” To that, Parker had one thing to add: “Track is the best,” he said.

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Track and field: Seniors leave it all on the track