Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Girls Track & Field Season Preview

Kristin Sato in the Long Jump
The Girl’s track team has been one of the elite teams of the CCS in the past 10 years finishing no lower than 4th in the section since 2004. After three straight years of being runner up the lady Warriors won their first ever Track & Field CCS Championship in 2008 on the talent and strength of runners Dahlys Marshall (Arizona), Cherelle McMillian (Santa Barbra), Jenna Davis (Cal Poly), Hannah Goranson (Duke), Kristin Houp (Columbia) and Jennifer Bergman (Arizona). They have carried that momentum with them the last two seasons, most recently finishing 3rd in 2010.

With the graduation of Hannah Goranson and Jenna Davis the girls’ team will have their work cut out for them. The next generation of young, talented athletes are poised to make their own mark this season. “Our girls’ varsity team is small in size only but very big in talent. Look for our seasoned vets to return strong and don’t blink or you will miss our talented freshman. When it is all said and done, I think we will do well and be very competitive.” Coach Tammie Marshall said.

The sprinters return a talented core of athletes led by Kristin Sato and Romie Asplund. Sato, the top returner this season, is ranked #9 all time for the Warriors after running the 100 meters in 13.07 at the WCAL Trials last season. The school record holder in both the long jump and the triple jump she also runs on the relays. A talented varsity volleyball player she brings her athleticism to an array of track and field events and is looking to debut in the hurdles this spring. She will be joined by Romie Asplund, who had an outstanding freshman year running the 400 meters in a time of 62.78. Her time places her #11 all time and was a state qualifier as the lead-off runner on last year's CCS Champion 4 x 400 team.

Romie Asplund in the 4 x 400 relay
Also expected to lead the way is freshman standout Shelby Smallwood. Smallwood has hit some outstanding marks in the early season racing to a 25.96 time over 200 meters at the Cal-Berkley All-Comer on February 5th. Her time places her 8th on the team's all-time list and is just behind State qualifiers from last year's team Hannah Goranson and Jenna Davis. She has also sprinted to a 7.79 for 60 meters at the indoor Simplot Games in Idaho and will be a top contributor to this year's team.

Isabel Garcia, Morgan Lira and Emily Blaha lead a talented distance crew this season. Garcia has been one of the top 800 meter runners in the CCS the past two years, finishing 11th in both the 2009 and 2010 at the CCS Trials. In 2010 she ran a personal best of 2:17.18 at the WCAL Finals where she finished 3rd. Garcia is also a state qualifier the past two seasons as a member of the CCS Champion 4 x 400 meter relay team. Last season she also set personal bests for the 1600 meters (5:14) and 3200 meters (11:43) showing amazing range.

Continuing to show dramatic improvement and leading the charge for Warriors in the 1600 and 3200 is Junior Morgan Lira. Last year was a breakthrough year for Lira as she ran personal best in the 800 (2:25), 1600 (5:12) and 3200 (11:15). This past fall she became only the second runner in school history to win the WCAL cross country championship and was named to the All-CCS team. She has blossomed into one of the top runners in the section and looks to improve even more this fall. Another outstanding distance runner is senior Emily Blaha who will be running in NCAA Division 1 next year for the Naval Academy. An outstanding runner who is one of the top distance runners in school history she is #4 all-time for the Warriors at 3200 meters (11:28).

Jumps / Throws
Last few years have been huge for the Warriors in the jumping events. Kristin Sato became the first athlete in school history to make the CCS finals in the Girls Long Jump where set the school record of 17-6.5 finishing 6th. She also had an outstanding year in the triple jump where in her first year of the event she set the school record of 34-0.5 finishing 3rd in the WCAL Championship. A versatile athlete, Sato also led the team in the high jump with a mark of 4-8. The throws have seen a rejuvenation on the girls side with many new athletes out to try the event.

The Boys and Girls open their season Wednesday, March 9th in WCAL action against Saint Ignatius at home. First event starts at 2:30 pm.

Photos By Steve Sato Sports Photography

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