Track & Field
Boomer Elmsdale
Fri, February 16, 2024 at 06:02 AM
As high school track and field season begins, the West Torrance High School team is gearing up for another year of competition. With a goal of reclaiming their league titles in both the Varsity Men and Women’s divisions, the team is working hard to improve their performances and make their mark in the sport. I had the pleasure of speaking with Coach Eric Madera about his team’s preparations for the upcoming season. The team’s success this year, according to Coach Madera, will depend heavily on their depth. With a year of recruiting and encouraging athletes to try new events, the team has grown in numbers and talent. This added depth will allow them to be more competitive in a wider range of events, giving them a stronger chance at claiming their league titles. When asked about the team’s top returners, Coach Madera was quick to name Caden Matsumoto, Mina Chung, and Bernice Nkemnji as their key athletes. Matsumoto, a junior, is one of the top long jumpers in California, while senior Chung is the reigning league champion in the 100m dash. Nkemnji, also a junior, is a versatile athlete who competes in sprint events as well as the long jump. These three athletes will play crucial roles in the team’s success this year and will be looked upon as leaders on the team. Speaking of leadership, Coach Madera believes in letting it happen organically. He trusts that the natural leaders on the team will step up and set an example for their teammates. And it’s no surprise that the top athletes on the team are often the ones who are the hardest workers. Not only do they have the most success, but they also motivate their teammates to work harder and hold each other accountable during practices. When it comes to motivation, Coach Madera believes that it has to come from within. He acknowledges that he can’t force his athletes to be more excited or committed to running, but he makes sure to match their energy and support them every step of the way. It’s clear that he wants to see his team succeed, but he also knows that ultimately, it’s up to the athletes to put in the effort and dedication to achieve their goals. This year, the team has grown in size, which has its challenges, according to Coach Madera. However, he is grateful to have a strong group of assistant coaches who help manage the larger team.