Track and Field Takes Home District Titles

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After months of training and competing in local meets, Westwood’s track and field team participated in the 2017 District 13-6A Track and Field Championships at Pflugerville High School, coming home with several district titles. Despite multiple lightning delays on Tuesday, April 11 that caused field events to be rescheduled, all events were completed, with running finals on Wednesday, April 12.

Athletes that competed in the varsity division had the chance to advance to the area meet, with the top four in the finals moving on.

Four-time area and three-time regional qualifier Madison Couch ‘17 placed second in varsity girls’ shot put and third in discus throw, and hopes to make it to the state meet for her senior year.

“I’ve constantly been staying fit, and just trying to work at it to get better,” Couch said. “I go into the ring and think, there’s nothing that can stop me from being the best. I just need to do as best I can and whatever happens with that, I’ll be happy.”

Warriors dominated in other field events as well, with JV girls’ pole vaulters Emily Lu ‘19 and Veda Allen ‘19 tying for second after clearing 7 feet 7 inches. Linette Page ‘19 finished close behind in fourth with a height of 7’00”.

Though Tristan Yates ‘18 only began pole vaulting this year, he placed third in the varsity boys’ division, clearing a height of 11’00”. In the varsity girls’ division, Jessica Ebert ‘17 landed in first, clearing 9’06”, while Ariel Whitehead ‘17 took home third place after making it over 9’00”.

“It was great having everybody there to support me, and also seeing a teammate place first,” Whitehead said. “It’s just amazing to see how much skill people have and what they do to enhance it.”

Jenny Todd ‘19 took home the district title in the varsity girls’ 800-meter run, finishing with a time of 2 minutes, 22.23 seconds. Though Todd was favored to advance to the area meet last year, she was unable to compete at districts as she fell ill that week.

“I’m excited for area, and this is good because last year I didn’t get to see how I would compete compared to the rest of the district,” Todd said. “It was kind of a blur, but [I felt] relief and some pride, that after everything I had worked up to this season, I had finally won districts.”

Many athletes participated in both field and track events — Alyse Gamble ‘17 will be advancing in varsity girls’ high jump, 400-meter dash, and the 4×400 relay, having placed second in all of them. With a new personal record (PR) of 58.89 seconds in the 400, Gamble has high hopes for the area meet.

“I hope to PR and make it to regionals, I feel like I have the ability to,” Gamble said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

New PRs were set in the freshman division as well, with Harris Quraishi ‘20 beating his previous best by over 24 seconds in the 1600-meter run, finishing the race in 4 minutes, 59.82 seconds. Quraishi ran neck and neck with his nearest competitor in the last 100 meters of the race, but was able to out lean him by .03 seconds to take home the title.

“At the end, it was mostly adrenaline, because I had gone way too fast on the first three laps,” Quraishi said. “I think I realized way too late, and next time I need to pace myself a little bit better.”

The meet finished with the 4×400 relay, where the varsity girls’ team made up of Gamble, Todd, Allyah Beaty ‘18, and McKenna Sigler ‘17 placed second with a time a time of 4 minutes, 4.90 seconds. Beaty suffered an injury to her quad during the 100-meter hurdles final, and had to make a choice between competing in the 300-meter hurdles, or the relay. Ultimately, she chose the relay, knowing that there were higher chances of advancing to area with that event.

“I just thought, if I had a better chance to make it out on either of those, it would probably be the [relay],” Beaty said. “I’m going to try and be in better condition, so I’m going to take good care of my quad all next week, and hopefully I’ll get a better time than I did before.”

A total of eight varsity members from Westwood will compete at the area meet at Marble Falls High School on Wednesday, April 19. The full results for the meet can be found here.