Schools all across the Almont League gathered at San Gabriel as the Matadors hosted the track and field league finals on May 5.
For the Matadors, finals started off strong with the girls varsity 4X100 relay team taking first place thanks to senior Kitty Lu pulling into the lead at the third leg of the race and senior Sherrie Viraphandeth taking first place for her team.
“Honestly I didn’t know that I took the lead until my teammates told me later on,” Lu said. “I have complete trust in Sherrie, and I’ve said all season, ‘As long as I’m next to the other team, Sherrie will bring in the win for us.’”
Although winning was important to her, Lu thought that finals showed the result of her hard work and having fun.
“For me finals was more of a chance to cheer on my team and the other schools and have fun,” Lu said. “Winning is great but enjoying the journey is so much more rewarding.”
However, from then on, the meet would be an uphill battle as the Matadors struggled to pick up the top five positions in their respective events. The Matadors were able to take a few first place wins in the girls varsity 100-meter and 200-meter sprints with Viraphandeth and 300-meter hurdles with senior Daniel Tran.
“I believe I did exceptionally well since I set a new personal record, running around a second faster than my previous record,” Tran said. “Despite this, I made many mistakes like hesitating a majority of the race. I could’ve run much much faster, but I’ll be sure to work on these errors for CIF.”
Finals closed out with their final event, boys 4X400, with juniors Eric Tran and Raul Martinez along with senior Juan Cai and David Auyeung representing the Matador team. Despite not placing for CIF, the relay team ran a tight race decided by mere seconds.
“I felt pretty anxious since I was injured, and my team relied on me to do well,” Auyeung said. “In the end, it cost us the win. It frustrates me how we could have won first and gone to CIF.”
As the meet came to an end, the entire track team took one final victory lap and took many group pictures to capture their final moments on the track.
For Cai, his last track meet felt “nostalgic,” but he enjoyed it and was proud of his team.
“I think this team did great as a whole,” Cai said. “They worked so hard before and during season. They deserve it all.”
Tran, along with the girls varsity 4X100 team, sophomore Sylvia Son, junior Guomin Tang, along with Lu and Viraphandeth move on to the CIF competition on May 13. Whether or not the runners won in their respective events, finals would be a memory that the track team would hold dear.