Atoms track performs well at recent meet


Atoms runners line up against runners from various other schools for the two mile race. Most runners were happy and improved their times overall.

Winter track competed in their second polar bear meet of the season on Dec. 11 at Falls Church. AHS ran against several other schools in the area, including Edison, Falls Church, Hayfield, Mount Vernon, and Justice.
The entire team performed extremely well and many runners earned personal records for their respective races. “It felt super great to improve in both the one mile and the two mile [races], but I could not have done it without the support of our great track team,” sophomore distance runner Semir Ali said.
The distance squad tallied personal records in almost every category. In the two mile race, senior Liam McGinity (12:55), Junior Daniel Befekadu (12:43), and sophomore Semir Ali (12:37) all improved their times. Befekadu and Ali also earned PR’s in the one mile races, with times of 5:29 and 5:46 respectively.
A distance runner made the top 10 for all 500 meter runners with a time of 1:17.34. The runners feel like their performances leave room to improve and build on and their times can help them qualify for districts and beyond.
“The team did pretty decent in the meet and I know if we train hard enough we will have a lot of people qualify for regionals,” Ali said. Finally, the girls distance team had some high placements, including 6th and 7th place overall in the 1000m race for Keira Dalrymple and Alison Coria Tarazona. In the 500m dash, Tejh Hardin placed 6th overall with a time of 1:43.33. Also, the short distance runners and sprinters did well at the meet.
The short distance races include the 55m dash, the 300m dash, the 4x200m relay, and the 4x400m relay. For the 55m dash, the Atoms earned 2nd, 3rd, and 6th place overall finishes (out of 94 runners) by Daniel Diaz-Torres, Jonathan Milian, and Zachary Hurd, respectively. The 4x200m relay placed 3rd out of 26 total relays.
Meredith Harrison placed 6th out of 95 runners for the 55m dash and the girls 4x200m relay placed 2nd out of 22 teams.
“I think I did well in all of my events,” junior sprinter Rakan Alqadi said. “I was able to PR in the 55m and the 300m. I think I also did good in the relay and so did my teammates Daniel, Jon, and Zack.”
The impressive placements by the Atoms were not easy to come by, however. The other teams at the meet had very competitive runners and the weather was not favorable. There were several strong wing gusts, which made times a bit slower and made it difficult to maintain proper running form.
“It was pretty hard to run against the wind but we were able to still run great times,” Alqadi said. The next meet for the Atoms is on Dec. 17 at Thomas Jefferson Community and Fitness Center against Edison and Mount Vernon.
The indoor track is only 200m instead of a traditional 400m track and the material is similar to a gym floor, meaning runners cannot wear spikes and times will be slightly slower.
However, the runners still hope they can improve in their races and prepare for other meets in the future. “I think a way I can improve is working on my block starts and coming out quicker,” Alqadi said.