Rio Hondo/Pacific League Challenge Varsity Track Meet


Ava Shaw, Staff Writer

Arcadia High School (AHS) hosted the Rio Hondo/Pacific League Challenge Varsity Track Meet on Mar. 4. AHS did an excellent job right on their home turf. It was a cold and windy evening, but nonetheless, many supporters filled the stands to cheer on the participating athletes. 

The AHS Girls Varsity Track team accumulated an outstanding total score of 119.5, coming in at 2nd overall, falling just a few points short of South Pasadena. The AHS Boys Varsity Track team was awarded 1st overall with a score of 112, beating out all 10 other schools. The meet’s events included shot put, discus, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, and a variety of races. 

AHS dominated with placements in the top three for almost every event. Some notable performances include:

Sophomore Layla Roslan, Girls Varsity: won 1st place in 400 meters.

Sophomore Reena Hsieh, Girls Varsity: won 1st place in 1600 meters.

Junior Deanna Chen, Girls Varsity: came in 2nd place in high jump.

Sophomore Yong-lin Hu, Girls Varsity: came in 2nd place in triple jump.

Senior Brandon Chang, Boys Varsity: came in 3rd place in 800 meters.

Senior Weber Lin, Boys Varsity: came in 3rd place in 1600 meters.

Senior Sky Clay-Ducre, Boys Varsity: came in 2nd place in high jump and 3rd place in long jump.

Junior Kyle Soriano, Boys Varsity: came in 2nd place in triple jump.

Junior Vrishank Biju also came out on top, securing a 1st place victory in discus.

“As a thrower, to prepare for the meet I did a couple of practice throws, stretched a little bit, and made sure to take it easy for the rest of the day,” said Biju. “I think the reason I got this PR was because there was a lot of competition that pushed me.”

Additionally, Hsieh brought home the gold, adding another win under her belt. 

“I was pretty happy with my race because I was able to get a huge personal record. Even though I wasn’t able to achieve my goal of running a sub-5 minute mile, I felt really good during the race and executed my plan pretty well– that’s the most important thing. A 5:01 is still a really good result though!” said Hsieh. 

Junior Emma Samvelian also went above and beyond at this meet. She started this season off strong, with new personal records, and placements within the top three for three events. She took 1st place in discus, throwing a 104’9”. Samvelian also won 1st place in pole vault and 2nd place in shot put.

“Track meets are both stressful and exciting for me! My combination of events is one that is rarely competed, so I am more often than not, running around to get to my next event, and constantly changing shoes,” said Samvelian. “When I break personal records, I can tell before they are even measured, and I like to celebrate.” 

The AHS Varsity Track team has worked hard in preparation for this event. From frequent practices, to maintaining peak physical shape, and overcoming mental challenges, competing is no easy feat.

“I’ve been working on changing my mindset so that no matter how good or “bad” I perform, I don’t see myself as a bad athlete,” added Samvelian. “I know that no matter what happens to me, my team always has my back. Through this team, I have built the closest relationships of my life. I have never been in a more supportive, friendly, and inspiring environment. That’s what AHS Track and Field is all about!”

The future is bright for all the talented athletes on the AHS Varsity Track team. AHS is lucky to have such a hard-working team on campus, putting their best foot forward in all that they do. Go Apaches!

Photo courtesy of AUSD DCI Intern Joya Sarkar