Lynbrook wins big at first track and field meet of the season

Diana Kohr

The Lynbrook track and field team started off their season strong at their first track meet on April 24 at Milpitas High School. Each of the Lynbrook teams, frosh/soph boys, varsity boys, JV girls and varsity girls, won by a large margin against Milpitas. The full results can be found here

Lynbrook athletes arrived at 8:15 a.m. at the Milpitas track to warm up before the first event, the 4×100 meter relay, which took place at 9 a.m. In the first race of the meet, varsity girls’ 4×100 meter relay, Lynbrook took the lead early on with the first and second legs of the race, but a fumbled handoff between the second and third leg gave Milpitas valuable time to get ahead. While the final leg was able to close the gap significantly, Lynbrook was unfortunately unable to catch up. Although it was a discouraging start to the meet, more practice and coordination can significantly improve handoffs in the future; on the other hand, the girls’ early lead can be attributed to their speed, a good sign for the rest of the season. The rest of the 4×100 meter relays proceeded smoothly; Lynbrook did not have a JV girls’ team, but both frosh/soph boys and varsity boys won their races with a margin of more than two seconds each, which is considered a significant amount for the event. 

In the next event, the 1600 meter race, the varsity girls and JV girls were combined into one race. Although there was a five minute delay due to an error in the timing system, Lynbrook took the top three places — senior Sunny Li, senior Gabrielle Tran and junior Srushti Patil were first, second and third, respectively, each earning times under six minutes. In the varsity boys’ race, junior Aryan Shah and senior Rohit Malhotra took first and third places, respectively, each with times under five minutes. Freshmen Nicholas Kong and Aiden Kato, promising new talents for the Lynbrook team, placed second and third in the frosh/soph boys’ race, respectively. 

“We had a really bad start,” Patil said in reference to the 1600 meter race. “The first lap was 77 seconds because this Milpitas girl just took off right at the beginning, so we got a little scared. But then we just kept running, and she fell back a little. Then we settled down in the second and third lap later on. I feel like we could have put in a little more effort, since we took the first race too easy, but we still ended up winning.”

Lynbrook also performed well in hurdles events: sophomore Shyon Ganguly and junior Bennett Wong took first place in frosh/soph boys’ 65 meter hurdles and varsity boys’ 110 meter hurdles, respectively, while sophomore Bethany Chan took first place in JV girls’ 100 meter hurdles, and senior Jessica Ye took first place in varsity girls’ 100 meter hurdles. 

Sophomore Chris Zhang, senior Roy Chien, sophomore Patricia Chang and junior Alison Tjoe took first place in the 400 meter race for frosh/soph boys, varsity boys, JV girls and varsity girls, respectively. For the following events, 100 meter race, 800 meter race, 300 meter hurdles, 200 meter race and 3200 meter race, as well as jumping and throwing events, Lynbrook continued to have a very strong performance, despite the absence of some athletes. 

“I thought the meet went well,” distance coach Luca Signore said. “We got a nice chance to be reminded of what racing feels like, and we hope to build upon it at our meet next week against Palo Alto. I thought the distance boys performed well and ran tough at the first meet. I was especially impressed by some of the younger athletes. It was also good to have Rohit Malhotra, our captain, back; he was just able to start training with us recently.” 

Many track and field athletes were unable to attend the meet, as they were participating in other sports. A three-season sports schedule is just one of the challenges for this year’s track season; the shorter seasons also mean athletes have less time to prepare and get in shape. A majority of long-distance runners did cross country as a season one sport, giving them extra time to prepare, but many of the athletes participating in other events only had five weeks since the beginning of the season to the first meet to train, significantly shorter than previous seasons. 

The final event of the day, the 4×400 meter relay, was put together hastily, as coaches from both schools had to form teams with a limited number of athletes compared to the amount they had in  prior years. Several distance runners filled in for the JV girls’ and varsity girls’ team, and because Milpitas did not have a varsity team, the two Lynbrook teams and one Milpitas team ran together. The Lynbrook varsity girls’ team came first, with the Lynbrook JV girls’ team and Milpitas JV girls’ team trailing behind in second and third, respectively. Similarly, for the boys’ 4×400 meter relay, Milpitas only had a varsity boys’ team, while Lynbrook had two varsity teams as well as a frosh/soph team. The Lynbrook teams took the top three places, ensuring Lynbrook’s victory. 

Despite the challenges of a track and field season set during a pandemic, Lynbrook coaches and athletes are doing their best to ensure a successful season.