Track places second at Arcadia Invite

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Dami Kim, culture editor

Spring break did not include an actual “break time” for varsity and JV track runners. The track team reaped awards at the Arcadia invitational on April 5 and 6, and returned to school with a new school record and heightened optimism for the season.

The team placed few tenths of a second after Downey High School, leaving even the spectators’ hands sweating. Seniors Alex Rohani and Chanan Batra and freshmen Lucas Brito and Raehaan Poonja set the new school record of 3:29.88 in the boys’ 1600 meters sprint medley relay, surpassing the previous school record of 3:30.74 performed just last year. The record stands second in the state ranking times and third nationwide.

“The fact that our team placed in the top five out of the few prestigious schools [at the invite] makes me proud and confident of our team,” junior Da Eun Lee said. “It was a really competitive race and our performance proved that we are a strong team.”

Rohani ran his fourth-fastest 400 meters split in 47.10 seconds and Batra set his personal record in 800 meters split with the time of 1:55.56.

“It was a good race,” Batra said. “I knew I would set a new personal record at the elite Arcadia meet because really good competition pushes me to run faster.”

The girls’ 1600 meters sprint medley relay took sixth place with 4:16.59 and ranked third on the Beverly All Time List by seniors Sydney Segal and Lily Ting and freshmen Madison Golden and Sara Neiman.

Segal and Golden also competed in the distance medley relay, one of the many competitive races, with Lee and freshman Annabel Personeni, who previously surprised the team with an exceptional record of 2:20.46 in the 800 meters race at the Azusa Meet of Champions. The team placed 19th overall with a time of 12:29.57 and the record remains as third best on the Beverly All Time List. Despite her speedy times and success on the team as a freshman, Personeni was determined to acquire a stronger mentality for competitive races.

“I was a second off from my [personal record],” Personeni said. “I really need to stay focused, even with all the distractions that goes on during the race, so that I can push myself until the end.”

Due to uniform violation, the boys distance medley relay team was disqualified with an unofficial time of 10:45.15. Although both sophomore Dominic Perlman and senior Eli Flesch ran their personal records of 2:04.47 for the 800 meters and 4:32.59 for the 1600 meters splits respectively, the times did not count.

Coach Jeffrey Fisher viewed this mistake as a learning experience for both the athletes and himself.

“I learned a lot about the team through this meet,” Fisher said. “The expectations to perform better are way higher among the athletes than they ever were before.”

Fisher remarked that even though the team ranked in the top three times in the nation, the runners were still disappointed that they did not meet their individual goal times.

“It’s a gifted curse,” Fisher said. “The runners ran phenomenally and the most important thing is that they are still hungry and motivated for faster times. I will take this team [under my wings] any day. I’m starting to really see why some of these runners, especially Rohani, are true champions.”

With a more intensified team spirit and optimism for the remaining season, the team faced Inglewood and Culver City High School at a home tri-meet on April 11.

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