Outdoor Track prepares for conference


Senior Lucas Michael sprints down the stretch in the 4×100-meter relay event at a meet.

Jude Nanaw and Katie Pope

The Atoms outdoor track season is winding down as the team prepares for the upcoming Patriot Conference Championship meet set to take place on May 16.

Before the conference meet, both the boys and girls teams will be competing at a quad meet on May 3 against the South County Stallions, W.T. Woodson Cavaliers and T.C. Williams Titans.

In the team’s most recent meet on April 19, the team took on the Mount Vernon Majors, West Springfield Spartans and South County Stallions.

At the meet, the girls 4×800-meter relay team earned a medal in the event for the first time since 2007. The relay team composed of sophomore Nadya Droujinsky, senior Emily Pope, junior Janice Milian and senior Karen Lara came in sixth place with a time of 10:35 at the meet.

“At conference we are hopefully looking forward to be breaking the 4×800-meter record,” Milian said. “To give our relay the best chance of crushing the record, I plan to run on weekends, do long runs and do workouts on my own on day we don’t have practice,” Milian said.

Despite the team’s progress, there is still room for more improvement overall.  At the quad meet, the boys 4×400-meter relay team came in second place despite struggling with communication.

“Our relay wasn’t the best because of our hand-offs and our second leg,” senior Lucas Michael said. “We still got second place but can improve to a regional qualifying time with more work.”

Also at the meet, the boys 4×100-meter team ran a regional qualifying time. Runners are striving to improve their times in order to qualify for coming meets.

Head Coach Phil Harris looks to prepare the team for the coming meets and work to help more runners reach regional and state qualifying times.

“We have a major meet coming up with about 40 teams and we are going to win,” Harris said. “It’s a big meet and we are going to do very well.”

The conference meet will be vital in determining how many runners will be able to advance to the next level, the 6A North Regional Championship.

“I will be preparing for conference by increasing my miles and working hard on improving my time with speed workouts,” senior Dyanna Rodriguez said.

Following the team’s next meet on May 3, the Atoms will compete in the TC Williams Invitational on May 6 in their final meet before the Patriot Conference Championship.