By Natalie Soto-Leon and Nalleli Madrigal

The 2017 track season is starting for Umatilla High School.

The first meet was held on Mar. 17, 2017 in Condon OR. Many of the athletes set new personal records. Multiple seniors have set lofty goals for their final season. With the season lasting till May, they’ll have plenty of time to get prepared.

“To prepare for districts I’ve been running to school every morning and back home everyday after practice,” said senior Luis Vallejo, who recently signed his letter of intent to play soccer at Blue Mountain Community College.

Mr. Vallejo managed to qualify for state last year, but unfortunately couldn’t participate because of shin splints (acute pain in the shin and lower leg caused by prolonged running, typically on hard surfaces). He has made it a goal to qualify for state yet again. With many meets coming ahead another goal is to properly stretch before every run. He doesn’t want anything to stop him this year.

Another state qualifier is senior thrower Aleesha Watson. Ms. Watson is a very talented javelin thrower. She began throwing just last year. In last years state meet, Aleesha reached a distance of 128’10 meters. This distance gave her second place. She was very proud of herself and so was her team and coaches. For it being her first year she was quite surprised. Going from running to throwing was a change, but a good change for her.

“In practice I work on different techniques to get the turns, twists, and steps down,” said Ms. Watson. “While at home my technique is called sleep.”

On Thursday Mar. 23, the Umatilla track team attended the Buck Classic at Pendleton, OR. All athletes that participated did their best, but unfortunately did not meet their goals.