The grassy football field filled with athletes as the teams from San Gabriel (SG) and El Monte High School gathered to warm up, stretch, and disperse into the different track events they were a part of.
Throwers headed to the north end of the football field, distance runners gathered their things for their upcoming races, and relay teams began to warm up together before the first race of the day, the 4×100 meter relay race.
SG pulled ahead with these races, securing a lead on points as all relay teams crossed first and second place in their different heats.
“I think I did pretty well,” freshman Rashell Zamarripa said. “I’m proud of my results for [my events]. The relay was okay, due to the confusion of where the passing zone should have been but, of course I always believe I can do better.”
While running events were under way on on the track, jumping and throwing events were commencing on the field. These events, often overlooked, still hold weight as to how the overall team performs during a meet, as well as demonstrates different areas of strength that certain athletes can excel in.
Some of the star athletes in these categories included: Alwin Lee in the Varsity shotput and discus events; senior Daniel Tran in the Varsity triple jump; Rashell Zamarripa in the Frosh/Soph long jump; senior Sherrie Viraphandeth in the long jump; and Vicky Ong in the Varsity long jump, high jump, and triple jump.
“I feel that it was a very good start to the season,” history teacher and jumps coach Sophia Suñe said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement, [and] I think we need to put more time on the pit.”
Later in the track meet, hurdles were dragged onto the track, set up for the 110 meter and 300 meter hurdle races. Runners were able to warm up over test hurdles, set up for them on the football field, before trying themselves on the rough dirt track.
“I had never run on a dirt track [before],” junior Henry Nguyen said. “I wasn’t really satisfied about how I did. I felt pretty disappointed after a while when I knew I didn’t do that well. [But] this isn’t going to be the last time I run on a dirt track, so I will try to learn from this experience and do better the next time I run on a dirt track.”
As the meet began to come to a close, throwers and jumpers met back with their teammates to sit down and watch the final two races of the meet: the two mile run, and the 4×400 meter relay race.
Though more time-consuming to watch, teammates cheered each other on, providing runners on the track with words of motivation, and eventually screams of victory as the SG colors crossed the finish line in first place.
“I feel like [my] relay team didn’t do too well,” Viraphandeth said. “We didn’t quite get our hand offs as perfect as we wanted, in order to get a better time, but at the next meet, we will for sure get it down perfectly”
At the end of the meet, the stadium field lights flooded the field with brightness, equal to the pride that shone through each member of the SG team as the last few runners came back to the rest of their team. Many athletes competed in multiple events, and not enough names could possibly fit into this article, but the team as a whole performed spectacularly. After a final tallying up of points for each division, the SG team loaded up their buses and drove home with a large victory, making for a good start for the upcoming season.