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Lady Colts On ‘Track’ For Winter 

Hills West is off and running at the team’s first meet on Sunday.

This year, the girls Half Hollow Hills West varsity girls track team plans to “do all the thing we failed to do last year and place higher in the league,” said junior Kayla Hodge.

The team this year is led by Joseph Toles, the new head coach of the team, who is no stranger to the sport. Toles ran track at Auburn University and said he is excited to coach the team along with a new assistant coach, Melissa Wood. Assistant Coach Jason Braun returns to the team for his seventh year.

Last year the team had many powerhouse competitors who have graduated including shot put thrower Tiara Davis, sprinter Kerry Graber, sprinter Esprit Parker, and several other vital team members that never failed to earn points for the team.

This year the team is still filled with young talent and fresh enthusiasm.

“We have a lot of young talent, and I also believe that we are very well balanced this year with talented people in every event,” said senior high jumper Isabella Dana.

“This season will be tough without our strong seniors [from last year] but their absence gives individuals a chance to step up to the plate and put in work to become star athletes,” added sophomore and sprinter Leeyan Redwood.

The bar for the girls this year is set and left to the team members who remain, including junior Alyssa Jean whose best time was 12.74 in the 100-meter race; senior Oyin Adewale whose farthest throw in shot put was 37.5 feet; and Hodge whose best time was 1.49.21 in the 600-meter race.

The girls’ skills were put to the test in their first meet on Dec. 8 at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. The meet began bright and early at 9 a.m., but despite the early time on Sunday the girls were warmed up and ready to go. The meet began with the 55-meter dash; the team also participated in shot put, hurdles, the 3000-meter race, the 300-meter dash, the 600-meter, the 1000-meter race, the 1500-meter race, the 4×200 meter, the 4×400 meter, the 4×800 meter, high jump, triple jump, long jump, and the race walk.

Junior Regine Williams came in fourth place in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.97 seconds, and Hodge came in fourth place for the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.99 seconds. Junior Matea Mezic came in eighth place in the 3000-meter race with a time of 12.07.76 minutes. Freshman and runner Victoria Antoine came in second place for the 600-meter dash with a time of 1.50.46 minutes. Adewale came in first place throwing 37.10 feet in the shot put, and sophomore Redwood came in second place throwing 32.10 feet. The girls came in second place in the 4×200 race with a time of 1.54.99 minutes; team consisted of Jean, Hodge, Redwood and sophomore Alexis D’Alessandro.

Junior Taylor McGee said the best part of the meet “was the relays because it is cool how track, which is considered an individual sport, can transform into a team effort.” Many girls on the team, like junior and runner Gabby Barone, said that “the best part is cheering on your teammates.”

The girls are very optimistic and hope to accomplish their goals for the season, which senior and long distance runner Andrea Ramsey said is to “get our best records and win our league.”

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the track team.

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