Sophia Goldberg sports editor
Members of the varsity track and field team competed in the CIF individuals preliminary round at Estancia High School on Saturday, May 12. While none of the athletes qualified to continue at the CIF Divisional Championship Finals, the team captains reflected on competing at CIF and give advice to next year’s team.
Long distance captain James Masutani, who competed in the 3200m run, was able to cut a total of 45 seconds from his two-mile time in order to qualify for CIF. He credits this significant drop to the intensity of his training and his dedication.
“The training was the same as last year; [training] just got more intense. I wanted to stick behind the leaders, on the leaders’ backs, which allowed me to cut 20 seconds, then 20 seconds, and then allowed me to go for the last five seconds,” Masutani said. “It was like 10 seconds off per mile, which was cool.”
Masutani used his practice to show his younger teammates the work necessary to improve in track and field.
“[As captain,] I try to show [my teammates] my own pace and lead by example. It’s my last year and I wanted to give it all I got. I wanted to show others they could get to the same level as I am,” Masutani said. “There are younger runners on the team who can run better than me. There are runners who can be at that level and they just have to work hard.”
Short distance captain Leti Valle competed in the 4x400m relay with fellow seniors Zoe Hinton and Sarah Smith, and freshman Eujeong Chi. Running for the last time for the Normans, Valle felt bittersweet about her career at Beverly.
“While running my last 4×400 relay, I felt sad, yet also relieved. When I passed the baton to Sarah [Smith], it hit finally hit me: my track career as a Norman had come to an end,” Valle said. “I was honestly excited to be ending the season on such a high note, especially with such an amazing team.”
Valle shares some advice for being successful in track and field with the underclassmen: to never give up and to always remember guts and glory, a piece of advice she received from Howard Edelman, who will be retiring at the end of this year.
“My advice to the incoming runners is to never give up; dedication and persistence are key. You should always try your best, at practice and the day of the meets,” Valle said. “You should never forget guts and glory (G&G). Coach Edelman always told me to give everything I’ve got during the last 100m of your race, and I hope that the runners next year follow his words and do the same.”