SRHS Track and Field Season heats up

Saturday, March 5, 2022, the Santa Rosa track team hosted their first invitational of the year. At this invitational, Big Cat, around 1,200 athletes and numerous alumni, coaches and spectators all came together to enjoy and participate in the events. This was also the time when our track was named after Doug Courtemarche! When Freshman Eric Rodrigues was asked how he felt about his first track and field meet he replied, “I liked it, it was exciting, and I won a race”. The overall consensus of this invitation was joy over the success of the meet. Photo by Michael Lucid

Article by Julia Sanabria

In addition to the other spring sports beginning at Santa Rosa High School, track and field is also beginning. The official season for track and field starts on February 7th, but they have winter training as well. If competitors want to sharpen their skills before the season commences, pre-season is where they would do so. 

There are all kinds of events to choose from when it comes to track and field. There is sprinting, long distance, pole vaulting, throwing and more! Track and field contains so many different activities to pick from that it’s almost guaranteed there will be something for every athlete. 

Dylan Phillips, a senior at SRHS, participates in the 4x400m, 800m and 1600m. Phillips said he joined track and field because, “I love to run. And the diversity of talents are amazing.” Phillips commented that track is a hard sport and that he finds it interesting to see who ultimately rises to the challenge. In years past, Phillips ran longer distances such as the 3200m, but this year he wants to push his limits with speed. Being on varsity track for the last 4 years, Phillips came to find that the team is only as good as the coaching and he is going to miss coaches such as Carrie Joseph, Dough Courtemarche and Bjorn Griepenburg. Staying as healthy as possible is important for any athlete, especially ones who, like Phillips, have been constantly battling injuries. Overall, Phillips seems excited to make the most of his last high school track and field experience.

Carrie Joseph is one of the coaches of track and field. Although track and field coaches need to be able to coach all 16 events, Joseph had spent most of her career coaching mid-distance and distance runners, but recently she has been focusing more on sprinters. Joseph shared that she started “competing in age-group track when I was 10 and have been in love with the sport ever since.” She shared that being a coach is full of adventure and learning. Joseph articulated that watching athletes step out of their comfort zones, try a new event and realize their potentials, as this may be one of the only times they are exposed to track and field. She has been coaching since 1994, and at Santa Rosa High School since 1997. 

The season isn’t set to change too much because of COVID, but Joseph did mention they encouraged mask-wearing when not actively exercising in order to maintain the utmost safety. There are about 100 students signed up to participate in track and field and there are hopes to make it one of the strongest teams in Sonoma County. A large invitational hosted by Santa Rosa High School is taking place on March 5th. It is the first meet of the season and is called the Big Cat Invitational. This meet has been held by us for 29 years and 20 teams are normally in attendance. Come support our Panthers!

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