Reaching the final stretch

Qualified runners to compete in Austin this weekend


Yulyana Clemente

Juniors Alan Salinas and Elias Gonsalez practice during fourth period on Tuesday, March 19 for their upcoming track meet.

Starting in February, the track team knew it had a long and tough season ahead. As it heads toward the end of the season, the team hopes to succeed in the remaining upcoming meets. The next meet will be held at the University of Texas at Austin on Friday, March 29 to Saturday, March 30.

The team is now working with new head coach Heather Moss. Not only has the team gained Moss, but it has obtained a new level of motivation. Moss has inspired the team to work harder with her work ethic and sense of leadership.

“We had a lot of people last year who did not feel motivated,” junior Emmanuel Pineda said. “This year we have a new coach that just brought a lot more to the table and way more to offer when it comes to workouts and leadership.”

Moss believes understanding each of her new athletes and having trust in their new coaching staff was important when beginning with the team. She knew they would have to adapt to her new level of coaching the team was not used to.

“The biggest challenge as an athlete from their perspective is having a completely new coaching staff [like assistant coach Melissa Cook] and myself; our requirements, our demands and expectations are different than what they were accustomed to,” Moss said. “The adjustment [of] trusting someone you don’t know [who is] going to care about you, want the best for you and [get them to] believe that. I think that’s building trust and relationships – get that ‘buy-in’ from the athletes to work hard, continue to train, push themselves, encourage them so they can reach their goals and realize we want the best from them.”  

Six runners will compete in the meet this weekend and each had to qualify. Junior Sierra Beal will compete in the 100-meter race; Beal believes the intense practices and trainings allow her to succeed at competitions.

“I just of think of it as I work hard to compete and do well,” Beal said. “If I want to do well then I work hard in order to do well, I just work hard and know it will pay off.”

Runners endured a tough and extensive offseason before competing in their first meet as they trained during a six-month offseason until their first meet in February. The team has one last meet at Marcus High School before heading into the District competition, hoping to secure a spot in the Area meet.

“When you start training in August and you know you don’t have a meet until February you can lose focus,” Moss said. “[It’s important to] learn each athlete and what their goals are, what their aspirations are [and] what they want to do. When you are planning their season [you’re] constantly talking to them, reminding them every day matters and reminding them you might not feel like it today but your competition is out there working just as hard. We have breaks and we try to do fun things during the season where they get a break from it mentally and physically, just [to] have fun and bond as a team.”