One Stride at a Time

Girls Track Team Shares Thoughts on Upcoming Season


Anthony Whiting

Junior Amani Graham takes to the skies in the hundred meter hurdles. This was the varsity girls first meet of the season and they faced off against Leander and Rouse. “I was really focused on not screwing up,” Graham said. “I made sure to pull my trail leg down to make my next steps to the next hurdle. form is very important for all running events, but especially for hurdles.”

Isaiah Prophet, Reporter

It is seven o’clock in the morning, the sky is pitch black and the stars overhead are the only source of light. The sound of their shoes hitting the cold ground rumbles the earth. Each step is taken in unison as the runners practice their strides. All that can be made out are black silhouettes dashing across the finish line. This is the runner’s ritual, and this year it will be even harder to keep it alive. 

The next girls track meet is on Feb. 19, and the girls will face off against Pflugerville, Hendrickson, St. Andrew’s Episcopal and Lake Travis. The team has been training since Jan. 24 and has only had one meet so far this season. 

With several former members of the girls track team now gone, the girls on the team this year are going to have to work even harder to make it to districts this year. With less people on the team, runners have to focus on beating last year’s scores. For senior Raniya Laneau, she said she is training even harder to beat her times from last year. Last year, she ran a 47 second 4×1 and broke four minutes for the 4×4 relay.

“We don’t have as many runners this year,” Laneau said. “Usually we alternate for relays and replace old runners with faster runners for each race. But this year we are going to have to use everybody for relays in order to run the event. It’s really benefited us because now we get to know each other more and have closer connections, which I think helps us in our relay because we know each other, our speed, strengths and weaknesses.”

Because of the lower runner count for the girls division, newer runners such as sophomore Olivia Maib are stepping up to the plate and are ready to prove themselves. She said she wants to impress so she can continue running in the varsity division.

“This is my first season of high school track,” Maib said. “So I hope to run well, especially in the one hundred meter hurdles which is the event I’m running. I’m working really hard in both the morning and afternoon practices so I can make sure I do well.”

Sprinters are not the only runners that have had to adjust due to a fewer turnout. Junior Nia Cummings is also training for long jump to compete at the upcoming meet. For Cummings, that means practicing her strides and mastering her form as she flies through the air and into the sand pit. 

“I want to beat my PR [personal record] at each meet we go to this year,” Cummings said. “I really want to learn more and grow in long jump because I think it will make me work harder and drive myself to do better and improve for myself and my team. This season is really different because there’s different people, but I think having different talents is very important.”

With so much at stake, senior Kymorah Carter has taken up training herself on track in addition to the regular morning practices in order to maintain her physique. Since it is her last year, she said she plans on making her final mark with this team.

“Continuing to work hard in the mornings as well as outside of school plays a huge role,” Carter said. “Expectations have changed to even more discipline along with consistency so it’s becoming more important for bonding between junior varsity and varsity. Support is always there especially between events. We all have a strong relationship and genuinely enjoy helping each other and it’s truly a joy watching my teammates run fast.”

Despite the running shortages, junior Amani Graham said she still believes that the team is strong and capable of making districts once again this year.

“Having more or less people does not affect us,” Graham said. “We are a family and team no matter how many teammates we have on the team. Yes, it sucks to not have that many people to come out, but in the end it is still the team aspect that really matters.”