The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School


Gables Track & Field Nears their Season Debut

With their first race on Feb. 16, the track and field team stays conditioned and ready for their opening performance
Santiago Rodriguez
Athletes of the short-distance squad sprint down the track, fighting off the resistance bands that their partners have secured.

Entering late January, the Coral Gables track and field team has already began to prepare for this season. A group of devoted runners and fielders work to condition, stay in shape and improve their form. With the departure of certain seniors from last year, new recruits look to fill in the spaces for the group.

The track athletes have recently been cooled down by the weather, but they must keep train to adjust to warmer conditions as summer approaches.

“We break up each day with long and short distance, throwers, and other events. Depending on their events they compete in, each workout varies. For example, ladders are a key workout for both long and short distance runners starting at a higher distance lowering each time. We’ve incorporated hurdle drills to help with runners hip mobility which is essential,” Coach Chapman said.

As February has arrived, track and field competitors choose their path within the sport, choosing the most suitable events. Some competitors specialize in multiple events such as jumps and long distance to maximize their efforts during a meet.

Gables’ short distance runners focus primarily on their jump starts and running form to improve their times. A good technique paired with an excellent start can give runners the crucial inches to beat the opponent. These Cavaliers train with weighted sprints, resistance sprints and other strengthening workouts during practice. Short distance events include the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes as well as relay races.

“Being a freshman, I hope to play a role in the team and run my sprints at the meets. During the off-season, I had a lot of training with cross country and a half marathon providing me with endurance. Coach Chapman provides us with many workouts and warm-ups to improve our skill while keeping us in shape. I plan to accomplish the best I can and am looking forward to the first meet,” freshman Lucas Buch said.

Track and field girls work on hip mobility by crossing over hurdles. Coach Chapman enforces this warm-up every day before their workouts. (Santiago Rodriguez)

On the other hand, long distance runners must prioritize other features like endurance and patience. Spending a longer period of time racing means that patience is of the upmost importance during races.

Moreover, the Cavalier long distance athletes must strive to maintain competitive running forms and boost their cadence. The boys and girls accomplish this by departing on long runs to the University of Miami’s baseball stadium and back.

Long distance events include the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter races along with the 800 meter relay race.

“I believe my endurance was already built in cross-country with the countless practices and meets. That will play a big factor in these upcoming track competitions. Coach Chapman helps us pick our workouts for the day benefiting our specific events. From weight training to long runs, our coaches help us condition to improve in every event we do,” sophomore Paul Winston said.

Sophomore Paul Winston at the beginning of his hurdle conditioning. (Santiago Rodriguez)

Track and field does not live up to its name without the dedication of the various field athletes. Some field events include triple jump, long jump and the pole vault.

The jumping events require a specific form and adequate thrust motion. Similarly, the throwing events, namely javelin, discus throw and shot put, test an athlete’s strength and power.

“This is my first year in track and field were I will be doing hurdles along with 100 meter dashes. We practice lots of sprinting repeats with no blocks, then I work on my jumping form along with doing dynamics before the workout. I hope to show myself what I can do getting the best place possible,” junior Salvatore Casciola said.

The Cavaliers take mental notes from Coach Chapman and their peers to improve their performance. Some athletes look to athletes from other high schools to enhance their performance.

“For pole vaulting I am expecting to hit the height of 12 feet but I’m training to hit 13 [feet]. I receive daily help from coaches here at Gables and from the Ransom [Everglades] when I practice along[side] their students. Training 9 out of 12 months during the year, I practice at a club run by my Gables coach, specifically for pole vaulters. I am hoping to get to states year, as it already feels like a great [year],” junior Lesday Viera said.

Senior Juan Fajardo leading the team in hurdle workouts by setting the example. (Santiago Rodriguez)

While the track and field team splits up into their events, on Fridays, the team meets in the weight room to refine their strength. Gables’ track athletes work as one unit whenever they can.

Looking forward to the season, the team must train Monday to Friday in order to prevail over countless schools training simultaneously. The first preseason meet will be held on Feb. 16th at the Traz Powell Stadium, in which the Cavaliers hope to gauge where their skill level is at.

Countdown to the First Track and Field Meet
The Track Season Has Arrived!!!!!!!
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About the Contributor
Santiago Rodriguez
Santiago Rodriguez, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Santiago Rodriguez is a current freshman entering the International Baccalaureate program here at Coral Gables Senior High. He hopes to pursue his interest in running by joining the Cross Country and Track and Field team. Despite his love for running, his biggest opponents are mosquitos. If you find him outdoors, bug spray is his best friend. He has big hopes for his future in Gables such as joining the National Honor Society, International Baccalaureate Honor Society, Science National Honor Society and possibly becoming Editor in Chief of CavsConnect. His favorite seasons are summer and fall for the many reasons of sports, weather and vacation. Wanting to continue to be a above average student, Santiago works harder, taking multiple Advanced Placement classes during high school. Hoping he has a great year at Gables, he is eager to be working in CavsConnect.
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