Varsity track wins IHSA Sectionals fourth year in a row

Trevians aim to be first to the finish line at upcoming state meet

New Trier girls varsity track celebrate a sectional title win by holding up the plaque     | New Trier Athletics Twitter

New Trier girls varsity track celebrate a sectional title win by holding up the plaque | New Trier Athletics Twitter

New Trier girls varsity track celebrate a sectional title win by holding up the plaque | New Trier Athletics Twitter

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Girls Track and Field participated in their Sectional Meet on May 10. qualifying for 8 events and taking a total of 15 athletes to the State Meet.

The qualifiers included: 3200m relay (Emma Branband, Karan Awatrimani, Caroline Trukenbrod, and Bridget Forbes), 4×800 relay (Karan Awatrimani, Emma Braband, Bridget Forbes, and Savannah Noethlich), 4×400 relay (Marne Sullivan, Grace Mcmanus, Savannah Noethlich, and Emma Fowkes), Sydney Kunkler in Long Jump and Triple Jump, Natalie Karabas in High Jump, Ellie Finnigan in 3200 meter, Emma Fowkes in 100 meter hurdles, and Marne Sullivan and Savannah Noethlich in the 800 meter.

“Our team did outstanding,” said  Head Coach Robert Spagnoli. “Our varsity won the CSL South Conference Meet and IHSA Sectional Meet for the fourth consecutive year, I can’t think of too many other teams that can say that.”

For both boys – who will participate in sectionals may 17th – and girls, their overall goal is to qualify in as many events as possible to have a strong number of athletes heading to state the following weekend(May 17-20 for the girls).

Junior Rebecca Goldman, who participates in various field events, said, “Overall I think we can score a lot of points in a lot of events and win this sectional qualifying a bunch of athletes for state.”

Captain Julia Birdsell said going into the races, “I never doubt NTGTF’s performance. At every meet there will be a PR(personal record) or a 1st place medal won. I expected us to do great.”

Many of the runners wanted to reach their goal of getting a PR. Marne Sullivan, who qualified for state in the 4×400 relay and the 800 meter, said, “My goal was to get a PR in the 800 running as close to 2:12 minutes as possible.”

The girls head coach, Spagnoli, explained, “We wanted to double up on qualifiers in the individual event. We always want to win the Sectional Meet as a team.”

The same goes for the boys team as well, their successful season pushes them to strive for a successful sectional meet. In the beginning of the season they had a great showing at Maine South. They placed second to Evanston, who, according to  Ford Baker, “is the biggest competition in the CSL Division.”

Baker, a boys longer distance runner, said, “Like most guys on the team, the ultimate goal for the end of the season is to race my best.”

Although each boys athlete has their individual pre race “ritual”, Baker explained, “I jog two miles and then do dynamic stretches.”

Although warming up muscles is important, it is also necessary for the athletes to mentally be prepared and not “psych themselves out.”

“In the moments leading up to the race, I am a ball of nerves, however just before the race starts, a switch flips and I am ready to go,” said Baker.

Going into sectionals, the girls team faced some serious competitors. According to Natalie Karabas, another team captain, “Each event has another event they are trying to beat. Personally for me, Glen Brook South and Maine West have great jumpers, so I’d say they’re my biggest competition.”

Spagnoli said, “Certainly Loyola, Maine South, Glenbrook South, and Evanston are always extremely competitive annually.”

Before the girls start their events, many of them have a ritual to “pump them up,” explained Karabas. “I always listen to music on the bus ride there, I have a playlist of like 8 songs I always will listen too.”

Sullivan said her ritual includes, “listening to pump up music as well as having a delicious sandwich from foodstuffs for a solid lunch.”

According to Sullivan, the team works towards the idea that, “We couldn’t go into this meet thinking people will give us something, we have to go in with a mindset that we need to work hard to get what we deserve.”

With a lot of time and effort put into this year’s season, and a previous sectional win, “We are fortunate to have a combination of runners, jumpers and throwers that were up to the challenge of defending our previous Sectional Championships,” said Spagnoli.

With state coming up this week and sectionals for the boys, both teams hope to finish their season with passion.

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