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The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD PREVIEW: Lady Lancers hope to win championship for their last season in the Freeway League

Sophomore+Sophia+Gentile+%28left%29+and+junior+Maya+Kew-Layton+practice+sprinting+uphill+on+Lancer+Way+toward+the+parking+lot+by+the+Performing+Arts+Center+during+sixth+period+on+Monday%2C+March+4.
Asaph Li
Sophomore Sophia Gentile (left) and junior Maya Kew-Layton practice sprinting uphill on Lancer Way toward the parking lot by the Performing Arts Center during sixth period on Monday, March 4.

Coaches: Jacob Holloway (head coach), Ashley Bordy (distance), Jordan Brinkley (hurdles and sprints), Chris Collodel (throws), Andrew Guevara (hurdles), Rick Holloway (throws and sprints), Gideon Pichardo (distance)

Top Returning Athletes: Krystal Barajas (11), Kaylin Fichtelberg (11), Mia Gonzales (10), Esther Kim (12), Mikayla Sooter (12), Kayla Thomsic (11), Giselle Vargas (11)

Top Newcomers: Eniko Barta (9), Kaila Ego (9), Ashley Kang (9), Hannah Oh (9)

Last Season: The girls track and field team (2-3) took fourth place in the Freeway League with Troy High School taking the title. Kim qualified for CIF in long jump, being the only Lady Lancer who advanced.

“The significance of the accomplishments from last season I think was having a good crop of young girls learn from someone like Esther who was a junior but had been to CIF multiple times,” Holloway said. “Getting that kind of insight and experience from her throughout the season spread to some other younger runners, especially the ones who were right at the cusp of getting on varsity, so it’s really inspiring.”

Outlook: This year, the head coach said he wants to encourage the team to challenge for the league title against Troy.

“We had the younger crop last year, and now with a little bit more experience and maturity, that will do better in terms of placement this year,” Holloway said. “My goal is to always get at least one of the relay teams to qualify for CIF and then go from there.”

With help from new, experienced coaches, Holloway said the girls strengthened their confidence as they practiced new approaches to improving in each category. 

“I think the approach this year of being very competitive in practice, not necessarily running against each other, but running against the clock, so I’m timing a lot of their activities,” he said. “It’s a lot merit-based, and I think that approach has got the people who are serious about track and field more focused and excited.”

Although having some doubts in the beginning, Sooter said she supports the new system in practice as she shares similar goals with Holloway.

“At first, I was a little uncertain about it because I was so used to us actually putting in more mileage and more distance repeats,” said the senior, a sprinter who’s been on the track and field team since her sophomore year. “But I think that it’s actually been working, as I’ve seen my times go down in our practices, so I’m excited to see how the actual season goes.”

However, Holloway said some unresolved challenges exist.

“Track is always a challenge for a lot of our athletes because a lot of them come from other sports, so it’s very difficult to manage the schedule and the logistics of meeting with people as we have different priorities,” the head coach said. “Then [we also have a] lack of facilities because if you had a track, that’d be a different story; but, we don’t have that, so it’s challenging when it rains or gets dark.”

Nevertheless, Gonzales said she still has high hopes for the upcoming season and wants to continue pushing forward. 

“Our team has been very committed to training no matter the circumstances, even in the rain,” said the sophomore, who competes in distance running. “I hope we can improve on learning different strategies during races to improve our overall times and placements.”

As this season marks the team’s last involvement in the Freeway League, Holloway said he wants to close with a successful ending.

“Next year, we switch to the Century Conference, which is more mixed with every team being in a different kind of league,” he said. “One of my goals, too, is that I want them to win the title to make that mark in history, as this is the last year in the Freeway League; that would be huge.”

The Lady Lancers will compete in their first Freeway League tri-meet on Wednesday, March 13, at Buena Park High School stadium. 

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Seowon Han, Spotlight Editor & Business Manager
After an exciting year as a part of The Accolade staff, junior Seowon Han returns as a spotlight editor and business manager. Han served as a cub reporter her freshman year in Journalism 1 and joined The Accolade as a copy editor the following year. She experienced writing for every section and covered a range of topics. This year, Han looks forward to maintaining her section with fresh and relevant themes and stories to keep the readers informed with accurate news. Outside of The Accolade, Han is involved with several clubs on campus as a cabinet member and plays the flute as part of the Symphonic Band. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to and playing music.
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