East Lake track preview

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East Lake track preview

The track team looks to surpass the success of previous seasons.

The track team looks to surpass the success of previous seasons.

The track team looks to surpass the success of previous seasons.

The track team looks to surpass the success of previous seasons.

Emily Rollins, Staff Writer

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Track season is running towards us and it is almost time for competitiveness that is fueled by athletes all across the United States. But when it comes to the local spectrum of East Lake’s finest track and field athletes, there is an entirely different story to tell. East Lake Track has made major impacts on the Pinellas County athletic competitions. Winning multiple consecutive District titles and PCAC (Pinellas County Athletic Championship) titles, the East Lake Track Program has always been thriving. The girls team even took home two regional championship titles in the past three years. The track team, headed by Coach Taylor and Coach Smith, has had multiple successful seasons in the past years, bringing many athletes to state and national competition levels, and even further to Division I level competitions in the college world. Many of East Lake’s dual athletes also ended up competing in track, allowing them to recognize their talents and abilities and take the sport to the next level. Each year, there are at least three athletes who continue their running career in college, at high division level track and field programs.

 

When it comes to this season, East Lake track and fields’ future seems bright. With the girls team taking championship titles in PCAC, Districts, and Regionals last year, there is great hope for this upcoming 2019 season. The boys team, which also had a very successful season last year, also has a lot of potential, despite the significant losses it experienced last year. James Hassell, class of 2018, was a valuable player on the team. Other dual athletes such as Josh Bowers and Jake Castle also racked up points, leading multiple meets to championship titles. Aside from that, many other standouts also graduated over the past couple of years. Jen Lima, Kaitlyn Kirby, and Cieanna Nichols all made major contributions to the team, setting multiple school records and taking home many state and even national titles. This year’s season will be led by junior Parker Valby, who took home many state titles last year and competed at national levels in both track and cross country, as well as Emma Grace, who pole vaulted at the state level and took home many championship titles.

 

Parker Valby mentions that she is excited for the upcoming season. Emma Grace says, “I’m looking forward to my senior season and I’m hoping to clear more heights and set more records this year.” Other multi-sport athletes such as Anna Cincotta and Nichole Fels will also be major additions to the team. East Lake has a lot of new athletes too, many of whom are newly joined underclassmen with potential. The senior group of athletes consists of Emma Grace, Olivia Mackenzie, Emily Rollins, Ashanti Rachel, Carly Bradley, Jake Walsh, Michael Welborn, and more. It should be a very successful season, and hopefully both the girls and boys teams will once again take home multiple team championship and state qualifications and titles.

 

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