Cross Country/Track & Field
Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 11:02 AM
As the track and field season kicks off at Bishop Conaty-Our Lady of Loretto, all eyes are on the team's top returning athletes - Ashley Mendoza, Sariyah Butler, Samantha Ayala, and Jennifer Velasco. With promising new additions to the team like Naomi Papaqui, Yvette Alvarado, and Paulina Vidriales, Coach Arnetta Williams has high hopes for the team's success this year. In an exclusive interview, we caught up with Coach Williams to discuss her thoughts on the team, her expectations for the upcoming season, and her coaching techniques. Coach Williams has a clear focus on individual strengths and team chemistry, citing Mendoza as an all-around athlete in multiple events, Butler and Ayala as strong sprinters, and Velasco as a potential contender in the 400 meters. She also highlights the new additions to the team, specifically mentioning Papaqui as a strong runner due to her extensive experience in cross country. She also expects great things from Alvarado, who will be bringing her speed from the basketball court to the track, and Vidriales, who will be scoring points for the team in field events. But it's not just about physical abilities for Coach Williams - she emphasizes the importance of leadership and character, choosing team captains who are not only strong athletes but also exemplary students and role models. She explains that these qualities are crucial in setting a positive tone for the team and earning the respect of their peers and coaches. This year, Velasco and Papaqui have been selected as captains, and Coach Williams has high expectations for their leadership on and off the track. In addition to focusing on individual skill and team dynamics, Coach Williams plans on implementing more team outings to build camaraderie and a sense of belonging for the freshmen. She believes that these events, whether it's a beach trip or a brunch after practice, will help the first-year athletes feel like they are part of a tight-knit team. This will not only foster a positive and supportive team environment but also contribute to the team's overall performance. When it comes to motivating her athletes, Coach Williams is a firm believer in pushing them to their full potential and never giving up. She encourages her athletes to train through any pain and challenges them to constantly improve. This mindset not only builds physical strength but also resilience and determination - qualities that are crucial for success on and off the track.