Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Girls Track & Field Preview

The Warriors look to join the race for another podium finish in 2012 as all three CCS finalists return to the squad this spring to provide the team with the depth and talent it will need to compete against the best programs in the CCS. The Warriors have been amongst the top 4 teams in the section since 2004 before slipping to 8th last season. The Warriors feature a balanced roster with at least one CCS Finalist returning in three event areas, including the sprints, jumps and in the distance races.

Shelby Smallwood had a stellar freshman year and has solidified herself as one of the best sprinters in Valley Christian history. Winning the WCAL Championship at 100 meters she was runner up at the CCS Finals where she finished with a time of 12.02 earning a spot to the California State Championship. Her time ranks her 3rd all-time for the Warriors. Smallwood also placed 5th in the 200 meters in a time of 25.17, #5 all-time in school history. This spring Smallwood has picked up right where she left off last season running 25.45 in the 200 meters at a Los Gatos All-Comer and followed that with a personal best in the 60 meters at the Simplot Games.  She will once again be looked to as a leader on the Varsity team.

A versatile athlete, Kristin Sato also returns as one of the top sprinters. In 2010 Sato ran the 100 meters in 13.07 which is currently #10 all-time. She also ran the hurdles last season running 50.23 in the 300 hurdles, #5 all-time.

Morgan Lira finished 12th in last year’s final. After coming down with a bronchial infection days before the WCAL Championship she battled through the qualifying rounds and advanced to the final but the effort took its toll and was unable to fully recover before the finals. Lira enters the season with a personal best 5:08 for 1600 meters and 11:05 for 3200 meters. This fall Lira joined Jennifer Bergman as the only other athlete to break 18 minutes on the famed Crystal Springs course and looks to carry that momentum onto the track this spring.

Isabel Garcia has worked hard to return to form suffering a hamstring injury in the fall of 2010 that nagged her throughout last last year.  Garcia boast personal bests of 2:17 in the 800 meters and qualified for CCS in the 800 meters as a freshman and sophomore.  She is was a member of the CCS Champion 4 x 400 meter relay team in 2010.

Lira & Garcia will be joined by top returners Jessica Xu, Karen Mac and Kellianne Connolly. They were the core of the cross country team that finished 2nd in CCS this past fall advancing to the State Championship. Each of these athletes had outstanding breakthroughs that will hopefully carry through to the track this spring.

Kristin Sato had a breakthrough season in 2011 setting school records in both the long and triple jump earning a berth to the California State Championship. The defending WCAL and CCS Champion in the Long Jump she a personal best of 18-3.25 winning the Section Title, the first in school history for the event. Sato also finished 5th in the triple jump with a school record mark of 36-3.

Alysha Escarcega also returns in the high jump where she is #4 all-time for the Warriors with a personal best of 4-8 last season. Shannon Luu will also look to improve upon her triple jump last season; she is #7 all-time.

Kristin Uda is the top returner in the throws for the Warriros this spring and showed rapid improvement throughout her first year. She qualified for the WCAL JV finals hitting personal bests of 25-10 for the shot put and 83-11 for the discus.

The Warriors open their season with split squad action at the Dan Gabor Invitational and K-Bell Invitationals this week. League action begins next Wednesday (March 14th) as the Warriors host Bellarmine & Presentation.

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