After three months of relentless practice, the Matadors hosted the school’s first ever tri-meet on March 5 against Temple City High School (TCHS) and Lincoln High School (LHS). The Matadors gained victories in the frosh/soph girls, varsity girls, and varsity boys divisions with scores of 64, 57, and 61 points.
“Initially, we were supposed to have a dual meet against LHS, but TCHS showed interest in competing against us so we decided to organize a tri-meet,” head coach Steve Morales said.
Although it was not the team’s first time competing against TCHS, the Matadors had no idea what to expect from their new opponent.
“When I saw them coming down to the track, I was really scared,” senior Maurelys Areas said.
“I almost didn’t want to try in my races because I heard that they were good but I told myself to keep going no matter what happens.”
The Matadors were at a disadvantage because they participated in only one preseason invitational compared to TCHS and LHS, who competed in two or more invitationals before the tri-meet. Despite the circumstances, the team was not discouraged from its inexperience, and each individual performed to the utmost of their ability.
“It was a very competitive day as both TCHS and LHS had distance runners who I could barely keep up [with],” head captain junior Michael Wong said. “Regardless, I’m going to have an open mindset and motivate myself to push harder in our upcoming meet.”
Throughout the tri-meet, the Matadors’ placement fluctuated in the sprint and distance events. However, the team managed to sweep placements in the jumps and throws events.
“Our jumpers have been practicing with Mark Keppel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,” sophomore Tasia Nguyen said. “Their coach really helped us improve our marks and puts us in the same playing field as their jumpers, who are known as Almont League’s best jumpers.”
Regardless of the Matadors having less experience in competitive racing, their preseason tri-meet demonstrated that the team is more than prepared to enter the spring season.
“I am happy with the team’s performance,” Morales said. “We do need to make some adjustments, but I believe our team will do well in our upcoming meet.”