Track and Field Team Improvises Around Losing Watson Field

Mae Canete

The track and field team is fresh into its pre-season having had two meets so far. Their first meet was on Feb. 29 at Palos Verdes High School and their second was on March 5 at San Pedro High School. The ongoing construction at Venice High School has resulted in a demolished track, complicating their season and practice schedule. Venice High does not have a track this year forcing the team to heavily improvise. 

The team practices every day starting with warm ups during 6th period. Even with no track present, there is no excuse not to participate in practice. Practices are held at the front green lawn of the school as it is the designated makeshift ‘mini-track. They join several other teams and groups that are also using the front lawn.

“If you are injured or cannot run, there are alternative exercises that still need to be done,” said Emmanuel Cadena. “Not having a track in track season make things harder, but we have to improvise. Coach says that if he has to work us out in a 12×12 square, then he will.”

On the lawn, distance runners are in one circle and the sprinters are in another which whom are instructed by Coach Sandoval, Coach Dobbs, and Coach Gomez. Warm-ups consist of core workouts, plyometrics and laps.

“The team used to run one or two miles around the track but now they run eight laps around the green front lawn just to get in about .8 of mile,” said Andrea Gallardo. “Our runs used to start 6th period but now we wait wait until 7th to start our actual running.”

“I miss the accessibility of the track,” says Gallardo. “ Without the track we are not able to actually start the workouts before the seventh period team gets here. With a track, we can just just do it. I feel like we took the track for granted now that it’s gone. Without the track, we end practice a little later..sometime between 4:30-5:30 P.M.”

Gallardo is a senior and has been the girls’ team captain since sophmore year. Her goal is to break three school records consisting of a 5:04 mile, 11:29 2-mile, and 2:24 800-meter. 

“I miss the pride of having a track,” Gallardo said. “Just getting out there and knowing yes I’m training for Venice High School. This is my track. This is where we put the extra miles, the extra shift in here. It feels a little tougher to do it out there but not impossible.”

Not having a track is a great obstacle the team must face but is something they know they can overcome. 

  “This year our team is strong,” says Gallardo. “We have fresh babies that we turned into veteran runners.”

Despite the team not having a track this year, the track and field team have high expectations of what’s to accomplish during the season. 

“We have a really good relationship right now,” says Gallardo.  “We are all really bonding. The team is close as it’s ever been.  No previous teams have had that. We are all really close which is really good moving forward.”

The team has set high expectations for themselves during the season. They have a common goal of qualifying for City Finals, which will only be accomplished by training harder, pushing themselves to the limits, and going for it.