On track for the spring season

As the fall and winter sports seasons come to an end, the time has come for spring sports like track and field to take the spotlight. After last season’s success at the Masters Track Meet, this year’s Jesuit High School team looks to go past Masters and into Sections and State.

The varsity track team looks to be as strong as, if not stronger than, last year’s team with returning senior athletes like team captain Ashton Retodo ’19 and juniors such as Newtan Quinlan ’20 and Jacob Wong ’20. Ashton is hopeful for what this year’s team can accomplish.

“The team is more together this year,” Ashton said. “Instead of just a group of individuals, we are one whole force working towards the same thing: a lot of young talent and hard workers this year looking to push themselves in order to become the best they can be.”

Every runner has personal goals along with team goals. Last year, the team did not make it to State which is a prime motivator for new and returning athletes. This year’s goal is to make it past Masters and win Sections.

“This year, we of course want to do our best to win league, then, from there, compete at a high level in Sections, Masters and hopefully State while improving our times along the way,” Jacob said. “It would be great to bring our relay teams and as many individual competitors as we can to the State meet.”

Along with the collective goals the team has, individual athletes are also looking to set personal and school records.

“This year, it would be amazing to beat the school record in the 4×400 event. I am also looking forward to proving myself in the Stanford and Arcadia invitationals,” said Aiden Baker ’20.

Not only will the athletes’ motivation play a key role in this year’s success, the coaches’ abilities to motivate their athletes and get the best out of each and every runner will be key to winning the important meets throughout the year. The coaches stress the importance of competing at a high level each and every practice.

“All of our coaches are great,” Jacob said. “They teach us great technique along with pushing us physically to improve and are helping build the mindset of working through pain. For me, Coach Jett and Coach Aaron, along with others, have really helped me improve mentally for training and for meets.”

With this year’s young talent, we should expect to see some new faces setting important times for the team. When asked, Jacob said we should keep our eyes on the returning seniors, but to also look for the young guys on the team.

“I would keep an eye on Matt Strangio ’20 who really competes at the highest level possible for his events, Elijah Beverley ’21 because as a sophomore, [he] is doing very well as a varsity sprinter/jumper,  and Aiden Baker because I have seen him work extremely hard over the last year,” Jacob said.

The team’s first meet is Holy Spikes, a dual meet against Christian Brothers High School, on March 6 at 3:30 after school at Jesuit. A clash between the two rival Catholic schools will prove crucial since it is the first race of the season which might paint the picture of what the rest of the season will look like.