Sophia Goldberg sports editor
Senior Sarah Smith, who has recently come off a hamstring injury, won the 400m event with a time of 1:04.31 during her first time competing in the event. She lends her success to her pre-meet rituals that include showing school spirit and warming up before the event.
“Today was actually my first time ever running the open 400m, as it was a better transition back into training from my hamstring injury than the short bursts of my usual 100m,” Smith said. “I personally try to get into the right mindset on the days we have meets by getting enough sleep the night before as well as wearing team apparel to school. I prepare for each of my events the same way by jogging a couple of laps and then doing some stretching and agilities, as well as build-ups.”
Smith hopes to run track at UCLA and believes that she will need to build on her achievements from high school to pursue her passion.
“My goal is to run track at UCLA. Although running at UCLA is a far reach, as their track team is filled with top-notch athletes, I do consider this as a possible path for me to take,” Smith said. “I am proud of my accomplishments on the high school track team, but feel that I will need tougher workouts and more years in the sport in order to get to that next level.”
Junior Julie Park has been competing in pole vault for all three years of her high school career, secures another win in the pole vaulting event by jumping 9 feet. She splits her training between sprints at school and working on technique and form at UCLA.
“I jump at UCLA twice a week with coach Anthony Curran. Other days I do sprint work and abilities with the rest of the sprint team,” Park said. “My favorite part of competing in track is the tunnel vision I get on the runway–when nothing else matters except for me versus gravity.”
Smith has seen some difficulty with transitioning into this season, however, with a change in the coaching staff.
“There have been many difficult changes in the track program this year. Our head coach, who had a huge impact on our track program, had resigned, leaving us with a new coach,” Smith said. “This was the most difficult change inflicted upon us since we had developed such a strong relationship with our former coach.”
Park has not allowed the change in coaching staff to affect her training and continues to work on individual skills during practice time.
“Until last year, I was working on learning the correct form and getting faster,” Park said. “This year, I’m working on execution and not hesitating on the runway.”
Smith highlights competing with her relay team as some of her fondest memories during her four years as part of Beverly’s track and field team.
“My relay team and I have stuck together since freshman year, breaking records and creating a strong bond with each other,” Smith said. “There’s nothing better than running the 4x400m and hearing all of your teammates cheer you on at the last stretch.”
Beverly’s next meet will take place on Thursday, April 19, at Lawndale High School.