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With both indoor and outdoor seasons back to back, the team of seventy-five is working hard to break both school and personal records. With 50 new personal records, three out of four dual meets won and a new school record broken by Christina Hall, the track team is having a successful season.
The girls track team also known as the “Girls in Gold” work hard to support each other through the season so they can grow as a team. With the majority of the team being underclassmen, upperclassmen work hard to motivate the girls to work on creating a bright future for track and field.
“The family dynamic that we have with our kids watching the improvement and watching them grow as females and as athletes not necessarily gender-specific but watching them grow as humans and seeing their personalities blossom because of the sport,” said girls track coach Elaina Armata.
“I like the motivation. I’ve done so many different sports like ice skating, gymnastics and this is probably the least toxic sport that I’ve been in. We’re just a lot like a family, and even though we’re very short staffed, we always have seniors telling us what to do to help us out and stuff like that,” said sophomore Imani Ongalo.
With so many girls being on the team, they all have different experiences, levels, and goals of track. Some goals are to break personal records, some are to break school records. The indoor season was a success for the girls, but the team had a rough start to the outdoor season with meets being postponed and canceled due to weather conditions, so they had to put in extra work to perform well in the numbered meets they have.
“Right now we’re in outdoor season, and it’s been really rough with the weather. We actually almost have had all of our meets either rained out or super cold, so the biggest accomplishment was during indoor season we finished third which is our second highest finish in Grayslake North’s history and then this season our goal is to hit third again for outdoor and to qualify some kids for State, and if that doesn’t work for our athletes, we just want them to improve and continue to do track in the future,” Armata said.
The Girls in Gold are super inclusive in the sport and welcome anyone who wants to give track and field a try. They have many different types of races and they also have jumping and throwing events. Anyone and everyone can give it a try with an easy entrance or easy exit if it happens to not be a good fit.
“There are no tryouts, and we are very big on if you have never tried it, come give it a try. A lot of kids say, ‘Well, I don’t run.’ Great. We don’t just run in track. We do jumping events, throwing events, and running events, so we will take anybody of any experience,” Armata said.
“There aren’t really tryouts; they’re really nice. They let you follow along practices and see how things go and run and test out and see what events you want to do, but you do have to register and pay $100,” Ongalo said.