Track and Field Athletes Stride to Success at Pacific Coast League Preliminary Meet

Sidra Asif

Juniors Alex Richmond and Janice Kim compete at the prelims 100m race. Kim finished at 14.05 seconds, and Richmond finished at 12.45 seconds, D1 timing, according to

Track and field dominated the Pacific Coast League Preliminary meet held at the Portola High track on April 22. A majority of athletes from frosh/soph, junior varsity and varsity teams advanced on to League Finals, which resulted in the boys team winning league championship and the girls team winning second. The league finals meet, which was held on April 29, included approximately 120 students from Portola High, according to head coach Cale Kavanaugh. 

The hard work the team put in over the season paid off, especially for varsity team captain and junior Brasen Garcia and junior Jadyn Zdanavage, who broke the school record for the 300 meter hurdles event and the 800 meter track event at 41.49 and 2:17.49, respectively.

Athletes spent time peaking, or preparing to fine-tune their performances, in order to train for the last open meet of the year. The teamwork built up throughout the season was also used to motivate and support each other, which was a point of pride for team captains, according to Garcia.

“When the pressure is put on you, your body can do some amazing things, and I think that seeing people seeing their hard work pay off and the joy on their faces after they run a new personal best. It’s really heartwarming,” Garcia said. 

The semi-finals were the freshman runners’ first qualifiers meet, which meant the athletes had higher level challenges they had not yet faced.

“I was really nervous because it was my first ever big track meet,” freshman Lily Nesland said. “I think it was a good first experience. I’ve learned to just calm down and focus on my own race compared to others, because in reality I’m working on my personal time rather than the place I get.”

Students who qualify from the league finals meet will advance onto the CIF preliminary meet, which will be held May 7.

“We did what we needed to do to kind of keep all of our goals on the table—the goals that we set for ourselves to see,” Kavanaugh said. “We’re really ambitious.”