Track and field faces harder competition

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In previous years, the track and field team hasn’t faced many challenging opponents; however, with the new transition to being a 3A team and the loss of many senior assets, this year’s team faces new and fiercer competition.

Becoming a 3A team means facing larger schools with a wider range of athletes to select from, and without previous experience with such competition, the team will have to adapt to the new competition and new challenges.

Along with the move to the 3A division, the team faces a loss of influential runners, such as Emily Konkus, Julia Watt, and Jen Barranco. These runners were important members of the team for many events, giving them a competitive advantage in many events.

The team looks to face the hardest competition in the relay races and other short sprinting events, along with the long-distance runs.

“A lot of our relay teams have been very successful in previous years, but we’re going to have more competition this year to make up for lost seniors. We still look to compete with the larger schools even without those runners.” Lizzie Lopez (’22), a high jumper, hurdler, and relay runner, said.

The team works hard to accommodate for the new challenges by having intense after-school workouts. They work in the weight room two or three times a week and when they don’t, they are up at the track refining and perfecting their events.

“I think we, as a team, really succeeded with getting through the daunting workouts, allowing us to reach our personal goals, and really working hard to compete with the new schools,” Devin Mason (’21), a relay and short distance runner, said. “We’re going to have to focus on running our events more effectively in order to compensate for tougher opposition.”

The event where Hereford looks to have the greatest success with is in pole vaulting. The team has always had great success in this event,which looks to guide the team to first place. Pole vaulters that will be competing with the more competitive schools include Vita Shats (’21), Courtney Butz (’20), El Schriver (’21), and Ellie McCullough (’22).

“We have a lot of great pole vaulters on our team and we tend to outperform almost every other school in that event,” Shats said. “A lot of other schools just don’t have the kind of pole vaulters that we do and that really helps our team with placing.”

The competition has yet to phase the team as they won the county championship title on Monday, January 21 at Fifth Regiment Armory. This is the 14th year in a row the team has claimed the county title.

Led by coaches Adam Hitner, Brad Duvall, Amanda Sanacore, and Weston Fellows, the group looks to continue this streak working up to regionals and states in the weeks to come. Continuing to work and refine their skills, the team may even try to conquer the school record this year.