The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

Track and Field: A Winning Culture

Mitty Track and Field contains to build upon the identity that’s allowed them to achieve success all throughout the season.

Archbishop Mitty Track and Field has been on a roll! With both the men and women’s teams achieving impressive podium finishes throughout the season—while breaking multiple records doing so. The program continues to bolster excellent cohesion as they prove their ultimate goal for the end of each competition: Winning.

The Monarchs have shown the roots of their winning philosophy throughout the course of the season. At the recent Bay Area Relays, the girl’s 4x100m Shuttle Hurdle team—consisting of Taylor Oden, Laniah Simpson, Tiana Osuna, and Shiloh HaliburtonRudy—showcased the capabilities of the Monarchs in a highlight performance. With a time of 1:03.35 minutes—putting them in first—the team broke the school’s record for the event. Later on in the Shuttle Hurdle Relay at Arcadia Invitational, they finished second with a new PR time of 1:01.47, breaking the CCS record.

Additionally, in multiple meets, Junior Maya Ifo Desai broke the school record for Discuss, with her all time PR being an impressive 132′ 3″. Sophomore Malia Martin also put up an impressive performance, securing 2nd place in Varsity Girls Shot Put at the CCS Top 8 Meet, helping the girls’ team win the team title.

In order to win, however, the team must ensure that they’re thoroughly prepared for whatever task is at hand. While there is a common misconception that Track is a sport where you can simply “go out there and run” with little focus or preparation, Mitty’s vigorous pre-race routine proves how thorough preparation can make all the difference. Leading up to a major race, the team spends the entire week ensuring they are physically and mentally ready for what is ahead of them.

In terms of physical preparation, senior Taylor Oden reflects that “The beginning of the week . . . will be a hard day of practice. So towards the end of week, it’s more so we can be ready to run.” While the workouts at the beginning of the week are intense, as they move closer to meet day, practice will become less physically taxing, in order to make sure they are feeling good for race day. After “getting a good night’s sleep,” it’s all about “just waking up [and] making sure you eat right.” However, the mental preparation involved for a race is an entirely separate obstacle. As junior Laniah Sampson puts it, “All the mental preparation starts the whole week, because you can tell the difference between the races where you actually mentally prepare versus when you kind of just go out there and run.”

Every winning team has individual stars, and with the relentless dedication to win engrained throughout the Mitty culture, the program has showcased countless outstanding players over each year’s iteration of the rosters.

Among the talented collection of individuals on this year’s teams, Junior Laniah Simpson and Oden have managed to star. Just in the 2024 outdoor track season alone, Simpson has already had eight first-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and two in the 100-meter dash. Competing against some of the top athletes in Northern California and still breaking personal records, Simpson has undoubtedly established her spot as one of the strongest competitors on the track.

He pushes me in a good direction to where I work really hard to make sure I can achieve the goals I want to.

— Taylor Oden

Sharing the spotlight is Oden. After a strong start in the 2024 outdoor season with three first-place finishes in the 300 meter hurdles and several podium finishes in the 100-meter hurdles, Oden has recently committed to the University of California, Riverside to run Track and Field. Even though her endless hard work and dedication has definitely been a major factor to her successes, she recognizes the impact the Mitty track community and culture has had on her journey, stating that Coach Oden “pushes me in a good direction to where I work really hard to make sure I can achieve the goals I want to.” Rather than allowing his athletes to be satisfied with just winning, Coach Oden ensures each athlete is performing to their fullest potential. The unwavering support from coaches, parents, and teammates allows athletes to thrive and continue to dominate their competitors on and off the track.

The Monarchs’ winning culture has carried over to the Men’s teams as well. The 4×200 team secured a 2nd place finish at the Saint Francis Invitational, which was then followed by an outstanding 1st place performance from the 800-sprint team at the Bay Area Relays. But they didn’t stop there. At the Stanford Invitational, the  4×100 relay team would go on to take 3rd place, marking three podium finishes in three consecutive weeks. Junior Suvan Chauhan points to the broader culture of the team as a major contributing factor for their success.  He notes, “Our team works together very well.” While in many sports, players often lack chemistry due to their unfamiliarity with their teammates—a skill that must be built through the season—Track and Field has not shared this common issue, with Chauhan further stating that “many of our athletes are together from different sports so no one is really new.”

Ultimately, the Track and Field program embodies a unique cultural identity centered around the team’s preparation leading up to a meet as well as their chemistry and discipline when the gun is fired and the stopwatch finally starts. Despite individual dominance largely impacting the outcome of many events, it always has been and always will be the entire team that must remain disciplined during the crucial moments of the sport. Now, as the Monarchs look to push forward amidst the CCS Playoffs, sophomore Zephyn Barthelom puts it best: “Everyone needs to be a weapon to compete against the competition.”