Ready, set, sprint: Varsity track and field kicks off season


Photo credit: Phillip Smith

Archer’s varsity track and field team poses at their first Liberty League meet of the season, located at Birmingham High School. The 18 member team will continue competing through May.

By Thea Leimone, Features Editor

As the sun begins to shine and the flowers start to sprout, a flash of legs rush by. Sprint, distance and field events have begun. Jan. 23 marked the start of the Archer track and field season as they began alternating practices on the Archer field and the Lincoln Middle School track.

This year’s team has a total of 20 members, with 12 of them being sophomores. Junior and previous CIF shot-put finalist Treasure Brown said she hopes to improve her shot put distance and running times this season but to also socialize more with her teammates.

“My goal is to use the sport [to] become more social, but also, in my specific sport, I want to advance farther than CIF championships — I want to go to State and the bigger events,” Brown said.

The desire to both perform well and to support one another is shared by other teammates, as sophomore Ijeoma Nwafor said she appreciates the team dynamic and hopes to win.

“I don’t want to be materialistic, but I would like to win a lot and to figure out which events we are all best at,” Nwafor said. “I really like the teammates, especially our captain Lauren — [she is] really nice, really supportive. It feels like everyone’s supporting each other.”

Team captain Lauren Robson (’22) said it felt bittersweet to begin her final season in the sport but is looking forward to what the upcoming meets will hold. The season will come to a close in May, when CIF and State take place.

“It’s exciting, and it’s also sad that it’s ending. But I’m really happy to have one last full season with the team and get to spend a lot more time with them. I think we have a very good team dynamic, especially now that I’m a senior, I feel much closer to a lot of the team members,” Robson said. “We’re definitely bonding during practices and being very supportive of one another, and I think that’s going to continue as meets start up.”

While the team feels supported by one another and their coach, sophomore Paige Porter said the track resources have not been ideal.

“We only have practices on the track two times a week and all the other times are on the grass … I want more money to [be] put in the track, and for them to be taken seriously,” Porter said.

Due to limited space availability, Archer has no track on campus, so runners practice on the soccer and softball field when outside track space isn’t available. For Brown, practicing shot-put isn’t a possibility at Archer, so she turns to outside spaces and works on her mid-long distance running with the team.

“I don’t really have a space to practice my specific event, so I practice with the runners,” Brown said. “I just do whatever the [runners] do to keep myself in shape, but I also practice outside of that.”

Currently, the team practices three days a week at the Lincoln Middle School track, an increase from the original schedule of twice per week in order to provide more training time.

“It’s been hard switching from the track to the Archer field,” Robson said. “But, I understand that it’s hard to get access to a track every single day, so it’s about just figuring out that balance.”

The season has just begun for both the new and returning members of the team. Robson said schedules are adapting and runners are learning what events work best for them, and that her goal for this season is to support one another.

“My goals for the team is just for us to work together and really support one another during the highs and lows,” Robson said. “[I want] everyone to find the events that they like the most and feel the most excited about.”