Track & Field
Boomer Elmsdale
Sun, February 18, 2024 at 12:02 PM . California
The track and field team at Portola High School is ready for a strong showing in this year's season. Head Coach Cale Kavanaugh has set high goals for his team, with a focus on winning the Pacific Coast League Title for the third consecutive year for the men's team, and the second consecutive year for the women's team. Both teams have proven to be top contenders in the county, and are looking for a strong performance at the Orange County Championships and CIF. One of the key factors for success this season is the return of some top players from last year. Senior long jumper Jason Liu is a force to be reckoned with, having already broken the school record and being a defending league champion. According to Coach Kavanaugh, Liu has shown a strong dedication to his training and is poised to have a great season. The women's team also has a standout player in junior Abbey Reichard, who is a shot put and discus athlete and qualified for the CIF Southern Section Masters meet last year. Her continued growth and maturation as an athlete has the team excited for her performance this season. Another top returning player is senior Rider Cooper, who is defending county champion in the 400m. Despite facing injuries and conflicts with baseball last season, Cooper has shown great potential and is determined to make a splash in the California track and field scene this year. On the women's side, junior Sophie Guilfoile is a standout in both cross country and the 3200m, with Coach Kavanaugh noting her growth and improvement as an athlete. Aside from individual talent, team chemistry and camaraderie are essential for the success of any sports team. Coach Kavanaugh and his coaching staff have been working on creating a strong bond among the team members, breaking down barriers between different position groups. They have organized interdisciplinary warm-ups and even an intrasquad meet to promote a sense of unity within the team. To push the team to their full potential, Coach Kavanaugh focuses on helping each athlete establish their own "why" for participating in track and field. By reminding them of their personal motivation for being in the sport, the athletes can stay inspired and driven even through the challenges and pressure of competition. Speaking of challenges, this season has its own set of difficulties for the Portola team. With a mix of experienced seniors and eager young sophomores, balancing their needs and development is a continuous challenge for Coach Kavanaugh and his staff.