Photo courtesy Jeremy Conley
Throughout various sports seasons, one of the most important days all season is the day of districts. It’s the day athletes get the opportunity to show off all the nonstop hard work put in all season to attempt to move on to the next level. On April 11th, at the National Training Center, the track team attended the districts meet. With over 110 kids on the track team, everyone was going into the district meet with high hopes to make it to the regional level. Senior Lauren Thomas advanced to regionals in the triple jump, while senior Alex Martinez, senior Ty’rik Gordon, junior Aaron Belboda and sophomore Ronin Davis advanced to regionals in the 4×400. Ty’rik also advanced in the open 400.
Before a race, Martinez grew anxious, forming butterflies in his stomach. His biggest competitor in the heat was in the lane directly next to him, putting even more pressure on him. Knowing that this was possibly the last chance to run for the high school team, his adrenaline kicked in, allowing him to help the boys 4x400m team advance to regionals.
“In the 4 by 4 that night, I would say there was a mix of obstacles and accomplishments actually,” Martinez said. “I ran first leg for the first time since last year and that was an obstacle for me because it was different than me running third usually. Ronin had fresh legs so he kept us in the race well. We had some lead changes during the race multiple times too. Aaron was running third leg and he died out completely on the last 15 meters, letting two people pass him, everyone thought he was going to fall. It was the most heart-breaking thing to witness. Ty’rik ran tremendously and got us into the top four by really kicking it in the last 150 meters. We also ran a new PR.”
For sophomore Ronin Davis, it was his first year running track, so he felt the need to prove himself to his team. Davis went through a wave of emotions throughout the race, as he started out feeling nervous and anxious.
“It’s my first year, and I got emotional after [our race] because I’m just really blessed that we get to go to regionals,” Davis said. “I got emotional because it’s not only my first time going to regionals, but second time for all the other guys who run the 4 by 4.”
With Gordon and Martinez both being seniors, this meet was the last chance they had to compete together. They knew they had to put everything out there in order to move on to regionals.
“Before our 4 by 4 race, I talked to my guys and told them you have to lay everything on the line and give it all we got,” Gordon said. “It means a lot [to make it to regionals] with Alex and since we’re seniors it’s our last year to be able to run together.”
Senior Lauren Thomas ran the open 100, open 400 and participated in the triple jump. Even though she made it to finals in the 100 and 400, placing third in the triple jump automatically sent her to regionals for the second year in a row.
“For me it was significant to make it to regionals, not only because I made it last year, but also because I wanted to end on a high note,” Thomas said. “With it being my senior year, I wanted to walk away from this season knowing I did the best I could do and going to regionals is pretty much that.”
However, for some of the athletes, the district meet didn’t go as expected. For discus thrower Jonathan Darbyshire, the windy conditions and a different throwing ring added an extra obstacle for him.
“[Districts] did not go as expected, I threw a bit above average, but some other teams PR’d,” Darbyshire said. “It was a great last meet to see all the amazing people I’ve met last year. I realize from every event like that, that it is more important to enjoy your time with the people than it is to focus on negatives.”
Through the wins and defeats, it is safe to say that all track members put forth their best effort; achieving goals such as new personal records and taking away new memories.