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Track and field sets records at CSL invite

Girls track proves to be well-rounded and a fierce competitor in latest meet

Alyssa Pak

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On Mar. 16, at the CSL South Conference Invite, New Trier’s girls track and field team had one of their best meets this season, leading the conference by a total of 33 points.

The team walked away with many conference champions, and several personal records.

“That night was all business by the Trevians. We competed extremely well in all four areas of the meet, which are distance, mid-distance, sprints, and field events,” coach of 27 years, Robert Spagnoli said.

New Trier competed against four other schools, including Glenbrook South, Maine South, Niles North, and Niles West.

Senior captain sprinter Kate  Holly, a seasoned varsity track member, has been on the team since her freshman year.

“I was really happy with how I ran. I was sick a lot during February so my times weren’t where I wanted them to be, but at conference I was fully recovered and ready to run my best,” she said.

Holly won three events at the invite: the 50M dash, 200M dash, and the 4×1 lap relay.

The only obstacle of the night was when senior Grace Fagan, one of the fastest distance athletes on the team, got sick and wasn’t able to run.

Despite this last minute change, the team worked together to take yet another win. For the 1600M, senior Caroline Fix took Fagan’s place. Fix ran a time of 5:13.76.

This not only made her the conference champion in the event, but also set her new personal record.

“Caroline really stood out as a leader. She stepped up and absolutely killed it, winning the mile with a personal record,” junior Rachel Weix said.

Holly acknowledged that although some athletes were out sick or injured, it didn’t stop everyone from giving their 110 percent.

Running the 3200 M for the first time was sophomore Ellie Finnegan who was the conference champion with over three seconds between her, and the second place finisher.

In the field events, sophomore Sydney Kunkler stayed several inches in front of other competitors,  and took the title of conference champion in both the long jump and triple jump.

Senior Yegi An ran a new personal record of 34’4.5”, coming in at second place in the shotput.

“The overall atmosphere of the meet was awesome,” Weix said. “It was our last indoor meet, so everyone was ready to go out there and push themselves as hard as they could.”

“The environment was super competitive, but also supportive,” Holly said. “Each team wants to win the meet on both the varsity and junior varsity levels, but across all schools, you’ll also see incredible amounts of support from teammates.”

Weix, who often runs the 4×800 M relay said that she didn’t have her best race, but teammates Fix, sophomore Caroline Trukenbrod, and junior Savannah Noethlich kept them in the game, fighting for first against Glenbrook South.

They were only 2.27 seconds behind, and ended up second out of five teams. Spagnoli noted that Glenbrook South is one of their closest competitors.

“I was amazed by how hard my teammates ran and how overall we were able to work together and support each other throughout the whole meet,” sophomore Paige Tangney said.

At the conference, Tangney broke the New Trier junior varsity record for the 800 M run with a time of 2:31.34

Sophomore Leah Ulrich ran with Tangney, Tommy Solberg, and Katelyn Cody in the other 4×800 M relay. “Everyone ran like gazelles. It was a great race, and I’m very happy with how we did as a team,” Ulrich aid.

This conference made it apparent that the girls’ hard work during the week is paying off.

They train six days out of the seven, working on a variety of skills, including training and weightlifting. Another one of their keys to success is their support of one another.

Holly said that whether it’s an athlete cheering on her teammate during a race, or congratulating an opponent after crossing the finish line, there is always support from the girls on the team.

Sophomore Cassie Fix and senior Natalie Marsh ran the junior varsity mile together and came in first and second, respectively.

“They ran together the entire time, and finished with great times. I thought it was cool to see them push themselves and persevere throughout the whole race,” said Tangney.

“I was super happy with my run because it was a new personal record for me. I was a little nervous because it was my first time running at a conference, but my nerves went away once the race started,” Cassie Fix said.

Cassie Fix finished the mile in 5:34.07, both her and Marsh ahead of other competitors by over 25 seconds.

“We all worked together, and many people got personal records,”  Weix said. “Spagnoli said in our meeting that we earned points in every single event, showing how much of a well-rounded team we are.”

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The student news site of New Trier High School.
Track and field sets records at CSL invite