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Panther Spotlight: Strong Teamwork and New Personal Records
Panther Spotlight: Track and Field

Update, May 15: Track and Field showed up huge in the NCS Class A Championships! Joaquin F. ’24 was the 800-meter champion, thanks to an astonishing time of 1:54.91. Teammate George K. ’24 was the second runner in SD history to also break 2:00, as he picked up third place in the race. Both runners will now advance to the NCS Meet of Champions—with Joaquin as the overall #1 seed!—with a chance to qualify for the State Championships.

The track and field team competed in the League Championships last weekend. It was a day of exciting races, new PRs, and a memorable 4x400 race. Maple S. ’24 finished fifth in the long and triple jumps on the women's side, and the men's team took fifth place out of 12 schools.

Men's Team Triumphs
Braeden C. ’23 showcased his speed in the 100-meter dash, coming in second place, just narrowly missing out on first. Meanwhile, Joaquin F. ’23 had to overcome some adversity at the start of his 800-meter race. Despite a stumbling start, he mustered incredible energy to overcome his competitors and clinch first place in a demanding race in 1:57 seconds, three seconds ahead of the nearest runner. “Winning the race felt amazing,” Joaquin says with a smile. “It was an opportunity to prove that I deserved to be the number one seed in our league, and I'm proud that I pushed myself and secured the win.”

Joaquin is setting his sights on the upcoming races and testing himself against the other runners. “I'm aiming for an NCS win. I know the difference between winning and losing is marginal, and I'm committed to doing the work required to come out on top. I know that the guy who wants it most will win when it comes down to the wire,” he added. Joaquin could advance to the Meet of Champions with a good result next week, and then on to States, with head coach Mark Churchill believing he could easily shave two seconds off his time.

Relay Team Breaks Records
The highlight of the day was the 4x400 team's performance. Extraordinary teamwork and determination propelled the Panthers to victory. Everything had to go right for them to accomplish their goal of breaking the school record of 3:52. And it did, with the team obliterating it by eight seconds, crossing the finish line with a time of 3:44. “We all came into the race with residual adrenaline from our previous ones, which propelled us in the 4x4,” says Devin P. ’25. “We fed off the crowd's energy and laid it all out there as we had nothing to lose. So it was a special moment for all of us to come together at the end of a long meet and qualify for NCS,” he added. 

Personal Records
Multiple runners set PRs on the day. George K. ’24 matched his PR in the 800-meter race, Brody O. ’25 beat his 400-meter PR by two seconds, and Devin P. ’25 ran his best times in the mile, two-mile, and 400-meter relay. Their accomplishments exemplify their hard work and dedication throughout the season.

Looking Ahead
The team's performance has paved the way for the upcoming NCS on Saturday, May 13, at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa. With an unprecedented number of six student-athletes representing SD, the stage is set for further triumphs.