The 2019 Scripps Ranch High School girls track team (photo by Elyssa Pampo)
SRHS track & field bonds as a team
By Nicholas Cassol
The Scripps Ranch High School track team, led by head coach Michel Sproles and distance coach Chuck Warren, is gearing up for one of its best seasons yet. Supported by a large group of talented athletes, ranging from runners to sprinters to throwers, the team works hard both on and off the track, striving to achieve their goals both individually and as a team.
“Every season our main goal is to try and make track and field a positive experience for every athlete,” Warren said. “Each year we push for significant individual improvement.”
Some of this improvement was seen by Megan Hill, a distance runner who, along with other top athletes on the team, qualified for the Arcadia Invitational, one of the most competitive track invites in the country. It was there that she ran 11:02 in the 3200, missing the school record by a mere second. Although “qualifying for Arcadia and running sub-11:15 in the 3200,” were always goals for her, she sees “going to the meets, cheering friends on and being a part of the track community” as among the most rewarding aspects of being on the team.
Julia Morales, who competes on the sprints team, agrees that the best part of being on sprints is the “small group,” where “everyone is super close.”
“Practices are hard, but we encourage each other along the way,” she said.
Morales, whose sprint medley relay team competed at the Texas relays and is ranked second in the country, said her success can be attributed to these hard practices.
“Even if the workout kills us on the track, it will pay off later,” Morales said.
For Joshua Boamah, who competes on the throws team, practicing persistently is integral to the success of the team.
“Both shot put and discus require a lot of work and practice time. Strength is the foundation of what we do, but it is technique that gets you far,” Boamah said.
This year, the throws team saw five newcomers, who, despite having “very different throwing styles,” have, according to Boamah, “performed very well, with lots of new personal records.”
“It’s fun to be running with talented people, as they push you to work harder,” said Giovanna da Silva, a distance runner who is enthusiastic about the goals for the distance team.
“The girls are capable of winning CIFs,” she said.
In terms of personal ambitions, she hopes to claim the school record in the 3200. Goals aside, though, da Silva said, “It is very fun being on the track team, running by the stands as people cheer you on during races.”
This is a sentiment shared by Ryan Connors, who also competes on the distance team. He said there is “nothing better in the last 100 metes of your race than having everyone lined up beside the track, cheering you toward the finish line.
Connors, whose 3200 time of 9:26 is the fourth fastest ever at Scripps Ranch High, said that the best part of track and field is that there is “a lot of diversity in the events.”
The track team is unique in that there are many different events and types of athletes compiled into one sport.
However, head coach Michel Sproles stated, “The different teams within track and field function together because collectively we know the importance of scoring as a team, whether it’s on the track or the field.”
As for aspiring athletes, Coach Sproles has this to offer: “Athletes should consider track and field because there is so much to gain from this sport. It provides structure, discipline, a hard work ethic and a team environment.”
Coach Warren concurs.
“We feel like the team is one big family. Each season, new and sometimes lifelong friends are developed,” he said. “Track and field teaches a tremendous amount of discipline, and this discipline will carry over to all other aspects of their lives.”