CIF Spotlight: Archer track and field claims victory at 2021 Finals

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Photo credit: Ena Leufroy

Junior Treasure Brown takes the number 1 spot on the podium after her victory in discus. “I felt like I was on top of the world,” Brown said. Brown along with sophomore Chloe Hayden, who placed 9th overall in the 400 meter, put Archer on the score board at the 2021 CIF Track and Field Finals.

By Grace Doyle, Sports Editor

They’re off to the races: Archer track and field athletes competed at the 2021 CIF Track and Field Finals in June. COVID-19 created challenges for Archer’s track and field team, but that didn’t stop them from placing 9th, 2nd and 1st in various events at the CIF meet.

Director of Athletics Kim Smith announced to the Archer community via email back in June the accomplishments of then freshman Chloe Hayden and then sophomore Treasure Brown at CIF. Hayden competed in the 400m and placed ninth overall and Brown became the 2021 CIF Champion in discus and runner-up in shot put.

“What it represented to me was the constitution of an Archer athlete. When met with challenge they rise,” Smith said.  “And specifically for Treasure and Chloe — our practices were limited, number of days, the time that they specifically got to train with their Archer team and the coaches…so, they also put in time outside of their practices…They can do anything they put their mind to.”

Hayden has been running track since she was 6 years old and has been a member of Archer’s track and field team since seventh grade. Her freshman season had to be modified due to the pandemic, which led to challenges of its own.

“Training during COVID was also very difficult…It was an adjustment not being able to high-five your teammates or go in for a huddle or just do some simple things you do with contact,” Hayden said. “It was difficult to be a team as much when you have to be 6 feet apart.”

Brown, a track athlete since she was 6 years old and member of Archer’s team since her freshman year, was the overall champion in the discus with a score of 120-4. She seconded Hayden’s feelings about practicing during a modified season. She also experienced the challenge of needing enough space to throw the discus.

“It was pretty hard to train during COVID because there were times where we couldn’t practice,” Brown said. “There was no place for us to practice or for me — I have to find someplace that is big enough to go the distance that I need to throw.”

I felt like I was on top of the world. People can see how hard I was working because people probably thought that over quarantine nobody was doing anything but it actually shows that I was training and doing what I had to do.”

— Treasure Brown

“We are Archer proud,” Smith wrote in her email announcing Hayden and Brown’s accomplishments. She highlighted that in a year of COVID-19 the outcome of the meet was “extraordinary.”

“Especially for Chloe, who’s a freshman — who made it to CIF finals and placed — and then Treasure, who won in the discus and runner up in the shotput — [it] is extraordinary,” Smith said.

Looking back before the pandemic, Brown said she always had winning CIF as a personal goal. When her freshman season abruptly ended, she didn’t take her eye off of that goal.

“The first year that I was throwing for Archer, before COVID, CIF was my goal — and then once the ninth grade year got cut short, I wasn’t able to go, so I was bummed by that,” Brown said. “I was like, ‘Okay, this gives me more time to practice and perfect my skills.'”

The 2021 CIF Track and Field Finals were Hayden’s first experience at CIF. Competing in the 4×100-meter relay and 400-meter, she decided to shift stress into enjoyment.

“For the semifinals, me and my team did the [4×100-meter relay]. We didn’t make it to the finals sadly, but it was really nice to be out there with them and practice together and enjoy that,” Hayden said. “And also, for the 400 there was a bit of stress, 100 percent, but…I just wanted to go out there and have fun and enjoy myself and not put too much pressure on everything.”

After not getting her shot at CIF freshman year, Brown felt that her hard work over quarantine had paid off. She described how it felt standing as the highest on the podium after her victory.

“I felt like I was on top of the world,” Brown said. “People can see how hard I was working because people probably thought that over quarantine nobody was doing anything, but it actually shows that I was training and doing what I had to do.”

After a year of challenges due to COVID-19 and with the inherent challenges that come with Archer, like not having a track, Hayden and Brown’s success is “a testament” to Archer athletics’ approach, and “the athletes that we have here” according to Smith.

“It was hard,” Brown said. “But we did it as a team.”