The Bark

Sobrato Track goes to CCS

Tia Weiss

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For many students the end of the school year signifies final exams and senioritis, but for a small group of athletes there’s no time for slacking because the summer heat to them means the end of the track season and CCS finals.

Like many other sports, the next step after league games or meets against other schools is the Central Coast Section finals, or CCS as it is most commonly called. CCS belongs to a state-wide federation of both private and public school sports in California. For sports that require set teams like football or baseball the top teams from the league will advance to the Central Coast Section Championships. In sports like track or swimming however, individual athletes are selected to move on to CCS.

This year Sobrato’s track team will be sending three athletes to the CCS championships. One of them, Elizabeth Tran, junior, is a returning competitor who has been to CCS in the past while the other two, Nolan Dozier and Erica Kelley, both sophomores, are competing for the first time for track.

Nolan Dozier, a distance runner, is pursuing his goal of succeeding in CCS. The first round of CCS is semifinals, where athletes will compete once again in order to narrow down the competition. After semifinals, the top twelve athletes for distance events and top eight for all others will move on to CCS Finals.

“My two goals are to get a personal best at CCS and then qualify to the CCS finals,” Dozier said.

Dozier has been training for  the track season with the eventual goal of competing in CCS since December.

 “I’m really proud of my training, really proud of myself, and I’m really excited to compete,” Dozier said.

It is safe to say that running is very important to the sophomore athlete. Dozier is often seen around town running by many of his fellow students.

“It’s fun,” Dozier said. “I understand that a lot of people don’t like it, but I’m just crazy like that.”

One of the main coaches, Cassandra Valenzuela, has been helping the team prepare since day one. Valenzuela is a Sobrato alumni who competed both in track and cross country when she was in high school.

“I didn’t want to leave them without a coach, plus I loved it so much when I was in high school and I wanted everyone to have the same experience that I did,” Valenzuela said.

Since the beginning of the season, Valenzuela has helped the head coach, Fred Rios, with practices and meets as he could not always make such events. She has been able to watch the team progress and help them along the way.

“I think they’re prepared,” Valenzuela said. “They’ve all been practicing with their designated coaches and working very hard.”

Although Sobrato has done well sending three athletes to CCS, there is always room for growth, especially when it comes to the size of the track team. Sobrato competed with an exceptionally small team this year and often found itself outnumbered throughout the season.

“I hope we have a bigger team next year, but it was still a lot of fun,” Valenzuela said.

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Sobrato Track goes to CCS