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Central track team’s success at the Papillion La-Vista Dennis Smith Invite
May 2, 2022
On Thursday, April 12, the girls and boys track teams traveled to Papillion to compete in the Dennis Smith Invite, hosted by Papillion-La Vista High School. There was a total of nine schools competing in the varsity meet: Lincoln Southwest, Papillion-La Vista South, Gretna, Papillion-La Vista, Omaha North, Marian, Prep, Bellevue East and Central. Seven schools competed in the Women’s division, in which Central High placed fifth, beating Omaha North and Marian. Out of the eight schools competing in the Men’s division, Central placed second behind Gretna.
Unfortunately, due to bad weather, the track meet was cut short. According to the meet’s dashboard, the boys and girls 4×400 meter relays were canceled due to lightning and an abrupt hailstorm. Although the weather ended the meet early, the Central track team manager is convinced it didn’t slow down Central’s success.
“We have a great team that is being built up to be even better. These athletes practice hard and have improved so much. I know that these athletes aren’t just good, but they are great,” says girls track team manager, Hajar Alhusni.
The boys’ varsity team had an impressive outing, netting second overall in the meet. Additionally, the girls’ fifth place finish does not reveal the team’s personal successes. The two teams broke twenty-seven personal records, six seasonal records as well as several Dennis Smith Invite records.
“I just PR-ed on my one-hundred-meter hurdles, so I am feeling great,” explains senior Nyawec Reath, who had just set a personal record of 17.54 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles. Reath later adds,
“I joined track because I wanted to try something new, and then I fell in love with the sport.”
Additionally, Central’s teams also had eight athletes finish in first place in their events. Central’s success last Thursday is a result of their long hours of hard work during practice.
“As for winning, it feels amazing. Hard work pays off. If you put in the work every day you will achieve your goals,” says Junior Quinell Smith, who won first place in a 400-meter heat with a personal record of 52.09 seconds.
Other athletes also saw improvements in their performances during the meet and shared their track journeys.
“In the beginning, the sport was really hard for me, but I stayed with it, and I started getting better. I mean it’s crazy to me to see how much I have improved […] like I am beating the girls that used to beat me! You can get better at any time,” says senior Alahna Davis, first place winner in the 100-meter dash.
Other runners try out new events to see how they can best benefit the team. Freshman Kyra Fry “took one for the team” by running eight laps around the track while competing in the longest and most grueling track event.
“I really like running the two-mile and plus it gets extra points for the team, and I love to do that,” Fry said.