Girls track off to fast start

The girls track team competed at a meet at York University High School in Elmhurst, Illinois on Mar. 6 with their varsity team placing third out of six teams and their freshman and sophomore (Frosh/Soph) team placing fourth out of six.

The York University High School meet was the team’s fifth meet of the 2020 track and field season, which started in late January, a meet which the runners were very excited to participate in.

“[York] is a good meet and we were really excited to go. They have a really nice track and we are all hoping that we will get to run well,” said junior Mia Conversa.

According to sophomore Claire Labuda, who was at the York meet, the team’s performance at the competition showed a promising season for many participants, including freshman Maeve Kelly.

“One of our new freshman [shot put] throwers threw over thirty-five feet and placed first at the meet. Throwing thirty-six feet is state qualifying so it is a big deal that she can throw so well so early in the season,” said Labuda.

Sophomore Colleen Charcut, who won second place in the 600 meter event’s Frosh/Sph division with a time of 1:50.48, was among many runners who set new personal records in the York meet.

The team also recently competed in the John Davis Relays on Feb. 28 at Glenbrook South High School, winning fourth place overall (out of six schools) for the relay division and second place in the long jump and triple jump events.

“It was a unique meet because it was a relay-only meet, meaning that four athletes participated in each event,” said girls track and field coach Robert Spagnoli.

“Some events we did extremely well in, but we have some areas to improve upon. However, it’s early in the season, and I’m not using that meet as a measuring stick for the year.”

The Glenbrook South meet was a new experience for many runners who participated in a varsity track meet for the first time.

“It was the first time for many of our athletes to be in a varsity invitational. Some of our kids handled it extremely well. Others got a taste of what a larger invitational holds,” said Spagnoli.

Junior Olivia Bhote, who has been on the team for two and a half years, was particularly excited for this season as it would mark her debut in high school track.

“For the past two years, I’ve been injured and this is finally a season where I’m healthy, and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Bhote.

The team lost a lot of seniors last year,buttheyhavenewrunnerstofill their shoes for the current season, many of whom are underclassmen.

“We have a large amount of first-year participants in Track and Field or freshman and sophomore athletes who I feel that at the end of the year are going to make a really big impact on our team,” said Spagnoli. “They are going to complement the veteran runners that we currently already have, who are our juniors and seniors.”

Bhote thought that the first few meets went well, and she has been happy with how the team has performed thus far.

“It’s the beginning of the season and we still have some things to work out at our meets, but we are in good shape overall for right now,” she said.

Spagnoli also has high hopes for the team this season and is looking forward to the state competition at Eastern Illinois University on May 22-23.

“I think that the kids are all working extremely hard and I am very optimistic about where our team is going to be in late May,” said Spagnoli.