Girls' track finishes first at Champaign

By Miranda Holloway
Sports Editor
The weekend of April 23 the girls’ track and field team traveled to Champaign to carry out a tradition: the tradition of winning the Champaign Centennial Invitational.
The girls won the meet for the sixth year in a row with the score of 156, beating the second place team by 16 points.
A number of first place finishes were won. Notable performances include sophomore Lauren Yearian’s win in high jump, sophomore Lauren Poplawski’s win in the two mile and senior Samantha Sturm’s win in both shot put and discus.
This is traditionally a successful meet for the team due the depth of the team that travels down state. Only 37 girls made the trip this year but every girl was able to score in her event.
“There are some really good teams there. They’re really good state teams but not really good invite teams and so our depth was really [better] than their quality,” head coach Dave Wurster said .
This meet also serves as way to unify the team. Since the team only brings a small group, and because they are so far from home, they can not depend on a large crowd of parents and friends to cheer them on. They team encourages each other, and the encouragement build off of one another.
“When you encourage somebody and they do better and they encourage you back you do better too,” Wurster said.
This encouragement carries the team into its “championship phase” of the season. After this meet the girls start to strive for high quality performances at every meet. In comparison, some early season meets were treated more like workouts than high stress competitions.
The team also now knows what they need to work on before the state meet.
“We get to feel what it is like having practice the day before, stay over night and have to compete the next day instead of being at home in our own luxury,” Strum said.
Strum has also found out what she needs to do personally to reach her goals.
“After this meet it was a real eye opener for what I need to work on like my technique so I can throw farther,” Strum said. “It has allowed me to see what exactly I need to fix. It was a real learning experience.”
Sturm’s goals include re-breaking the school record for discus, breaking the school record in shot put, and placing in the top five in state in both events.
Looking into the home stretch of the season Wurster is looking forward to working hard in practice working on confidence, sharpness, and recovery, but does not want to over work the athletes.
“We are giving ourselves more rest time and we are looking for some really, really high quality performances in meets… Now the meets are for results and getting the best scores possible,” Wurster said.