Track competes in regional finals meet

By By: Joe Haynes-Sports Editor

The track and field team sent its best performers to the regional finals at Whitman May 19 with hopes of advancing to states.

At regionals, the relay team of junior Alex Kim, sophomore Will Conway and seniors Sami Aougab and Sei Masuoka broke the school’s record in the 4x800m.

To advance to states, any performer had to finish in the top four of his or her event, with a few events also having automatic qualifying times.

Before competing at regionals, the team participated in the county meets May 12-14. From there, the top three CHS participants in each event moved on to regionals.

The county meets brought CHS much success, both as a team and individually. The boys team finished fifth despite losing junior sprinter Zach Raker to a sprained ankle earlier in the day. The loss of Raker hurt the team, but the distance runners stepped up.

Conway had a phenomenal meet and stepped up for the team. After taking third in the mile by breaking his personal record, he nabbed the fourth best time in school history in the 800m dash.

“[Conway] is a lot further ahead of where we thought he would be this year,” head coach Scott Silverstein said.

However, Conway wasn’t the only person to have a strong meet, as senior captain Tarek Elhage also pushed a school record in the 3200m run.

“This season has meant a lot because it’s my final season and we have made a lot of improvement from the beginning of the season,” Elhage said.

The girls also found success at the county meets. The team finished third in the county, and the meet was highlighted by senior Maryam Fikri breaking CHS’ record in the 800m by two seconds.

“It was the only track record not to be broken in the past six years [for the girls],” Silverstein said. “They all put their marks in CHS lore.”

For sophomore Nadim Elhage, the path to Whitman was not one that he wanted to take. After a strong freshman campaign which included being named to the All-County freshman team, he suffered a cracked spine in a varsity football game. He missed the entire winter season and part of the spring season, and had a recovery that included physical therapy multiple times a week.

He made his return in the middle of the spring season, and was able to qualify for regionals in the shot put.

“[My recovery] has gone well,” Elhage said. “I haven’t felt much pain and now I am stronger than ever.”

One thing that is credited to the team’s success is the turnaround in behavior. After struggling with discipline earlier in the season, Silverstein believes the problems are behind them.

“It really hasn’t been an issue,” Silverstein said. “There was a point where [the team] wasn’t listening. That’s not the case anymore.”

As for the season as a whole, it has been consistently strong.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Conway said. “We lost a lot of seniors from last year. We have been doing really well.”