Reanna Wauer, Marcela Riddick and Leandra Ramlo are three seniors on the varsity track team. The Oracle sat down with them to learn more about their season, practices and goals for the year.
What is your favorite thing about track?
RW: It’s a great balance of individual and team. You’re very much competing for yourself and wanting to make yourself better, but you’re also there with your team and want your whole team to do well. I think it’s a really great balance in that respect.
MR: Going off of what Reanna said, how you do individually affects the team, so it holds you accountable in a different way than say basketball does for me. You can make a bad pass in basketball, but somebody can recover. If you have a bad race, your team doesn’t necessarily get the points. So it’s a different kind of accountability where you have to be very self aware.
LR: I think my favorite thing about track is that everyone who is a part of track is there to work really hard. If you join track you should know what you’re in for, and running by nature is something that you have to exert a lot of energy for. You have to work really hard, whereas maybe in some other sports, it’s not as mentally and physically grueling.
How is the season shaping up?
RW: I think the season’s shaping up very well. We’ve had some school records being made; Leyla Namazie is doing amazing. If we just keep our momentum going we’re going to have a great year because we’re working really hard — it’s going to be good.
MR: We had three meets in the span of eight days, and initially it was really really tough — like Leandra was saying both mentally and physically. But I think it’s a great way to start the season because it gets people in that mindset. I think that as the weeks go on — we’re in our fourth week now — everyone gets closer, which is something I really like to see. Watching relationships form is really special.
LR: I think it’s good. We had a check-in where Coach was making sure we were all there for the right reasons. We have a lot of fun at track, and sometimes we can lose focus. So we sort of re-centered, and we had a really great meet on Saturday. Everyone did really well, so I think it’s only going to get better.
How do you prepare for meets and what does a usual practice look like?
RW: We start out with a warm-up which is about a mile around the neighborhood — it’s called the “off campus warmup.” Then we come back [to Archer], and we do a dynamic warmup and stretch. From there we break up into groups — so there’s the sprinters and the distance. The mid-distance [runners] usually go with the distance runners. Within the sprinters, I do hurdles, so I do a hurdle workout with the hurdle girls. I do some drills with the hurdles while the sprinters do the sprint workout.
MR: So I do the sprint workout. A typical sprint workout — because we don’t have a track — we kind of make do with the fence behind the softball. So around the softball fence is approximately 175 meters. From where we start to the end of the wall at Archer is approximately 100 meters, so we use those rough measurements to prepare. We usually do a couple of 60 meter sprints. Depending on how hard the day is, it could be three or eight. [The coach] will either increase or decrease the intensity by making us walk or jog back.
LR: Distance can either be an off campus run to Wilshire, Montana or something or it could be behind the school. [It may] be a series of laps around the school, but they’re usually sprints. We’ll do a ladder or a 4-3-2-1 or a 1-2-3-4 — multiple times — which is very hard.
MR: We end practice by coming together as a team and make a giant circle. We do — on some days, not as much right now because we had a lot of meets — this thing called “no mercy” which is also our motto for the year. I remember one day “no mercy” it was 100 jumping jacks, 50 burpees, 100 squats and 50 crunches.
LR: 100 toe touches…
MR: When you think of it it’s like oh my goodness this is so obnoxious, this is so ridiculous and I can’t walk the next day. But, it creates the mentality that you can really do anything even after a really hard workout. I think a lot of us really enjoy “no mercy” because it really pushes us to a different level — it’s kind of fun. It’s different — it’s a lot of abs and strength training. After “no mercy,” we do a circle stretch, player of the day, and clap out.
What goals do you have for the rest of the season?
RW: My goal is to improve on my own times and to make sure that our team is an inclusive collective.
MR: I completely agree. I think the three of us are in a different position this year because it’s our last year, and we want to do really well to represent Archer and to go out really strong. Also, we want to make those relationships with our younger teammates last — to help the new freshmen get oriented and helping the middle schoolers feel like they’re just as cool as they think we are. We have a pretty big team — I think 35 girls including middle school — so it sometimes can be a little overwhelming making sure that we’re all one team. That’s something that the five captains are really working towards. We want those 35 girls to feel like they are a team, and I every week we get a little stronger and a little closer.
LR: We’re each working on our PR [personal record] times. And then collectively those PR times will help us as a team. Ultimately what we’d like to be are league champions and to beat Pacifica Christian — our league rivals!