Huntley sprints for the win at co-ed track and field meet

At the first home meet of the season, Huntley leaves the competition in the dust


L. Schmit

Gabby Whitfield clears the bar in pole vault, following in the footsteps of her older sister.

By Lauren Schmit

In the field house on Feb. 16, the first co-ed  track and field meet of the season was held against Rockford, Guilford, Crystal Lake South, and Johnsburg High School. Parents filled the small bleachers with squinted eyes to try and spot their kids as events ran. While the athletes scrambled to get their warm ups in before their events, over the course of the track meet many athletes took their events to a personal level in hopes of achieving their goals for the overall season.

“I hold myself to the highest standard I have ever held myself before. I will beat myself up over it if I don’t get what I want to get. I know what I have in me and I know what I’m doing and I know if it’s 100% enough,” junior Gabby Whitfield said.

According to Whitfield, she has been participating in track and field since the beginning of high school. She competes in the pole vault and is following the path of her older sister who was also involved in track and field. She has her own goals for the season and aims to improve as the season continues.

“I want 9 feet for indoor meets and then my realistic goal for outdoor would be 9.6 feet and then possibly striking 10 feet,” Whitfield said.

Pole vaulting and high jump are similar events relying on the personal standards of height for the athlete. On a high school scale, 12-13 feet is very good in pole vaulting with athletes. The event is based on using the pole properly and vaulting over a high pole. Personal goal setting is very important.

Amongst the other athletes, senior Marc Llauderes has set his goals for future meets and the overall season.

“I plan to get faster. For the 60 meter dash I want to run low sixes and for the 200 meter dash I want to run 22 seconds,” Llauderes said.

According to Llauderes, he has been running track ever since 5th grade. He keeps himself accountable for making his goals a reality for the season by going to the gym everyday and keeping himself in shape. For this specific meet, Llauderes made new personal records, meaning he earned his fastest time ever for that event.

So we talk a lot about having very concrete decisions about goal setting. We do a pin ceremony after every meet where we give out pins for kids who got a PR (personal record), kids who broke the school record, or if they were an invite champion, they get a pin,” girls track coach Jason Monson said. “When they go to a competition, they have to have goals. They get up and they say this is what I want to do. This is what I did and I achieved this goal.” 

According to Monson, he notices how much work these athletes put in to accomplish their goals. For example, he is amazed by the leadership of the upperclassmen that represent great role models for the underclassmen, especially after this being the first full season since COVID-19. 

The athlete of the meet was Alexis Cobb as she set personal records in all three of her events: the long jump, 60 meter dash, and 200 meter dash. Athletes are personally awarded by the coaches with things like “athlete of the meet” and pushes them to keep going with their goals.

On Saturday, Feb. 12, there was a track and field meet at Auburn High School as the first official meet of the season with many accomplishments.

“We did have so many positives by setting school records. That meant it was really challenging for our girls because they prioritize the running events over the field events, once the running event started. They just went nonstop,” Monson said.

According to Monson, the biggest thing that the girls can do for future meets is just to stay hungry.