The Paly Voice

Girls' track and field takes win against Lynbrook

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author

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Junior AnaCena Zander wins in a hurdle event, winning five points and leading the girls' varsity to a victory over visiting Lynbrook High School. Photo by: David Lim

Junior AnaCena Zander wins in a hurdle event, winning five points and leading the girls’ varsity to a victory over visiting Lynbrook High School. Photo by: David Lim

The Palo Alto High School girls’ track and field team (1-2) is showing quick improvement, beating Lynbrook High School, 68-53, on Thursday afternoon in a Santa Clara Valley Athletic League dual meet.

Heat waves were visible on the track as the weather started in the high 70s, dropping throughout the day. The heat clearly affected all parts of the meet, although runners disagreed whether or not it was beneficial. 

“The weather is just making everyone tired,” junior sprinter Lydia Guo said. “It’s been a long week; some people think that the weather is good, but a lot of the long distance runners are having trouble with it. Everyone is just exhausted right now.”

The Vikings started the day off with a decisive win in the 4×100 meter relay with a time of 51.47 seconds, setting the tone for the meet.
“In the 4×100, we did really well,” Guo said. “As a team all our hand-offs were very clean.”

While many of the sprinters were fine with the hot weather, the negative effects became apparent during the mile, the first distance event of the day. While senior distance runner Susan Heinselman placed third, running 5:35.3, conditions defined and limited the runners in the race.

“When I was running, I wasn’t running my own race,” Heinselman said. “I was running with the people I was running near. I was scared of the heat; it was so hot, I didn’t want to burn out. It turned out they [the other runners] could finish faster than I could.”

The Vikings placed well in the sprinting events, with star freshman Pippa Raffel taking three events. Raffel won the the 100-meter sprint with a time of 13.59 seconds, the long jump with a leap of 15-10.25 feet and the high jump with a mark of 04-06 feet.   

“I was a little worried at the beginning because I had a bad start,” Raffel said. “My plan was that I wanted to just run as fast as I could and to go straight.”

Head coach Jason Fung attributed the new-found success of the team, which lost its first two meets, to returning basketball players as well as girls who are now gaining points who had not before.

“What helps us out now is the kids that are getting second and third places,” Fung said. “Today everyone came together and everyone did well.”

The Viking’s next dual meet will be held against Milpitas High School at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Paly track.

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