Indoor track builds track-ion towards victory


Photo courtesy of @dawgssports ON INSTAGRAM

A relay squad comprised of Nathan Encinas, Bradan Welby Stepan Volkov and Griffin White (left to right) takes home a regional win after another dominant performance.

By Ryan Weiner, Editor-in-Chief

Every day, students listen to the morning announcements during second period and hear various updates about the many sports teams at WCHS. Basketball won another game, swim is rolling through the competition at Regionals, baseball and lacrosse have tryouts. However, there is no team that gets more publicity each morning than indoor track, and the results show why.

Each meet, the team continues to blaze past old school records and run their way to victory.Additionally, they have continued to do this not just against local competition, but against teams from across the rest of the DMV. So, what has propelled this winning culture? Well, some members of the team believe it is due to the great chemistry the team has built throughout the season.

“This is one of the most tightly knit teams I have been on in my high school career,” senior runner Alec Lehtman said. “Everyone is super warm and welcoming and I think the team feeds off of that energy.”

Especially with many of the runners on the team coming off of a long cross country season and preparing for outdoor track in the spring, the indoor track season can be a grueling test of endurance. Granted, the cold weather certainly does not help either during practices. However, the team has found ways to overcome this adversity to continue on their path to victory.

“It’s easy to lose morale and motivation when we are all running outdoors throughout the winter season, but I think we are able to keep the energy and morale high through our connections with teammates because we keep everything lighthearted and work together to improve each day,” Lehtman said.

On the subject of community, the comfort experienced by each of the athletes all starts with the hard work of their coach, Scott Jacobson. The mutual respect the team has with him is also a catalyst for the success of the indoor track squad. Nowhere is this respect more evident than at practices. 

“Having coaches that care about you and put in the work like how Coach Jacobson does when he runs the workouts with us is super motivating,” Lehtman said. “The motivation he brings each day causes us to feel more comfortable at practice to compete and motivate each other consistently.”

The team also has plenty of meaningful traditions that have both prepared them for upcoming meets as well as provided them time to bond as a team. Whether this be extra unofficial runs, team meals or in-race strategy, the indoor track squad has maintained these routines consistently for success.

“A day before the meet, we would plan a spaghetti dinner or some other carb load meal for the team,” senior runner Ethan Yen said. “Then, on the morning of the meet, we have team breakfasts in Coach Jacobson’s portable that most of us go to for more carb loading and preparation.”

Due to all of this, the team has been incredibly successful this season. To name a few accomplishments, they have shattered school records in the boys (senior Bradan Welby) and girls (junior Hallie Muniz) 1000m, won county championships in the boys 4x400m and 4x800m and most recently won regional championships in a few events as well. 

“The chemistry is off the charts and is probably better than most schools which is why our 4×800 relay is first in the region and the 4×400 is first in the county,” Yen said. “That being said, part of this might also be from our race strategy, where we form a pack during races to help us run faster.”

While the winter season is coming to a close with the state meet looming in the near future, the team still has plenty of goals they want to achieve this season. But, this does not mean they have forgotten about the spring season ahead, and the team is also striving to keep their overall wellbeing in mind as well.

“With the state meet coming up, our 4×800 team is going for first, and many individuals are chasing their own medals in various events,” Yen said. “However, we want our indoor team to be smart and stay healthy in order to prepare for the outdoor season and possibly win the whole state meet.”