Track Makes Its Mark at DCLs


Rachel Starr (IV) makes a clean hand-off to Rebecca Hein (III). (Source: Robert Anderson)

After a trialing winter season riddled with injuries and illnesses, the Boston Latin School outdoor track and field team saw their efforts pay off through multiple victories at the Dual County League (DCL) championship meet.

Behind the scenes of the team’s success at DCLs were countless hours of practice, both collectively and individually.

Mina Breen (II), who ran the girls’ 400-meter dash as well as the 4×100-meter relay, details her workout as a sprinter. Sprinters run for a mile every day to practice technique, form, relay handoffs and strides. After this, Breen and her fellow sprinters return to school for strength training.

BLS hurdler, Yuta Kaneko (II), practiced similar to how a regular sprinter would, but with hurdles incorporated throughout. When asked about the impact of his exercises, Kaneko responds, “[Hurdles] made workouts so much more taxing, but I felt that it paid off in the end.” Stressing the importance of maintaining form throughout the race even when exhausted, he emphasizes the focus on running with the correct form during practice.

Rui Liu (I) further details the sequence of regular practices, which consist of discussing the logistics of meets, followed by a warm-up run to Madison Park and ending with drills on techniques or workouts for running. Liu ran in the boys’ 100-meter dash and the 4×100-meter relay.

Captain Saul Hodin (I), who ran in the boys’ 400-meter dash and served as the anchor for the 4×400-meter relay, alternated his focus between distance and sprinting. Due to his cross-country background, sprinting came easier for him.

Despite the amount of work put in by runners, the track team sorely lacked jumpers and throwers for their field events, resulting in the loss of a number of points that would have helped in their competitions.

Hodin explains, “[A lack of members] along with our lack of facilities to train for those events left us losing a lot of points that could only be made up for on the track.” Despite these setbacks, Hodin was more than happy with the team’s performance during the spring season. He believes that the difficulties the team faced in the winter season prepared them well for their success in the spring season because they had stemmed numerous improvements in the team.

Kaneko expresses similar sentiments, saying, “[The indoor season] allowed me to get used to how track meets are run and how it feels like to compete.” He further elaborates that after the grueling winter, he was ready to jump right into the spring season.

With all of this preparation, the runners could not have been more ready for the DCL championships.  The team took first place in the boys’ 4×400-meter relay, and second in the girls’ 4×100-meter, girls’ 4×400-meter and boys’ 4×100-meter relay.

Hodin expresses his excitement with the final result, describing the boys’ 4×400-meter relay as “high-energy” and “one that never fails to put a smile on his face.” He credits the team for a large part of the intense and motivating atmosphere, as he believes that the team spurred him on to do better.

Kaneko, who was able to consistently place in the top three places in hurdling events throughout the season, shares similar sentiments about his success at DCLs. With a second-place finish in the boys’ 400-meter hurdles and the 4×100-meter relay, Kaneko describes the experience as euphoric mentioning, “It was very exciting the way the adrenaline kicked in as soon as the gun went off. All of a sudden you feel your limbs and you feel no pressure    all you want to do is get to the finish line.”

With the outdoor season coming to an end, the track team marks off yet another successful run. Hodin and Liu, two of the team’s several seniors, are looking forward to continuing their love for track through clubs and intramural sports in college.

As for the juniors, Kaneko plans to keep up with hurdles and aims to break his personal record for next season, continuing the spring workouts to keep up with his form. Similarly, Breen expresses that during the off-season, she will focus on building up her mileage and increasing her strength and conditioning.

The Wolfpack had great success this spring, and are looking forward to next year — they are ready for more.