By Jumana Khatib
March 25, 2017
Saint Thomas Aquinas Track and Field recently took their annual Miami spring break trip, where records were broken, competition was high, and the heat was rising. The Spartans had two major meets in Florida that week. First on the agenda was the “Hurricane Invitational” in Miramar. This was our kickoff meet to start the Spring track season with a bang. A few days later was the Miami meet, where the competition was very competitive but that didn’t stop our Spartans from breaking school records and getting nationally ranked on both the men and women’s side.
For the men, sophomore Saint Jacob Diodonet broke his own school record in the 200 meter event, running 21.51 in the 200 and finishing fifth in the event. Senior Winslow Diodonet also competed in the 400 meter run, clocking a time of 47.94, a provisional NCAA qualifier in that event, finishing fifth, along with a season best in the 100 with a 10.79. Junior Mohammed Ifthikar hit a new school record in the long jump with a jump of 6.66m (21’10.25),along with a new school record in the triple jump with a leap of 13.72m (45’0.25). Sophomore Ricksen Opont hit a new school record in the discus with a toss of 44.48m (145’11) which had him finish in fourth. Opont then took eighth in the shot put in 13.58m (44’6.75). Freshman Tim Faranda set a new school record in the Javelin throw with a throw of 48.47m (159′). Senior Ryan Gasser ran 2:00.81 in the 800 meter run.
For the women, freshman rookie Camille Cameron broke school records in the 100 meter, 200 meter and the 4×100 meter run at the Hurricane Invitational. Camille ran 12.37 in the 100 meters, 25.17 in the 200 and was part of the 4×100 team of Amber Lubaszka, Victoria Jones-Alleyne and Tiana Kirkland that ran 48.16. Freshman Victoria Jones-Alleyne ran a new school record in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.61. Junior Kristen Borriello hit a new college best and school record in the 1500 with a time of 4:38.41. Junior Katie Mollahan took eighth place in the shot put with a throw of 11.38m (37’4).
The trip consisted of more than just breaking records; it was filled with a week’s worth of team bonding and getting our tan on. The track team is filled with diverse events along with different practice strategies. The jumpers, sprinters, throwers, and distance teams each have their own coaches and different approaches to training. Being on the distance girls team, mileage is very important and helps with consistency and strength. Having two practices a day helped immensely; when trying to increase mileage for that week. Doing a 60 minute run on a sandy terrain along Dania Beach had its perks of an ocean side view, beautiful sand and salty air, but was very difficult to run on. The weather cooperated the entire week; any runner would hope for 70 degree days. This certainly helped make the most of our practices and races.
Sprinters, jumpers, and throwers had their taste of cool water by doing pool workouts along with workouts on the track. It is vital to have a specific training regime that will help the most when performing on the track. Leading up to the race, the coaches spent hours figuring out the best tactics and training that would benefit the athletes the most.
Aside from training and racing, we bonded with our occasional miniature golf excursions, poolside conversations, and movie nights. The week was relaxing, yet beneficial by adding two races in one week, which was crucial for training purposes. This memorable week brought teammates closer together and the extra training will help us throughout the season. Spring break is over; now it is time to perform on the track.