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Courtesy Robert Hyatt

Led by coach Michael Fuller (not pictured), four students, including Lillian Fuller, ’21, middle left, beat FCS track records in high jump and long jump.

Spikes tied up, blocks in place, waiting for the gun to shoot off as your heartbeat fastens. This race will determine if you qualify. Ready, set…

As the varsity track team ends their successful season with four seniors on the team and 13 meets in the books, they begin to end the school year with summer approaching and only two weeks left of the 2018-19 year. 

While track consists of running, throwing, and jumping events using your athletic ability, track is just as much of a mind sport. Track and field requires a positive, determined, and motivated mindset. This challenging sport pushes athletes to the next level as they have to push themselves and their abilities past what they ever imagined.

Individuals on the track team broke many of the school records that hang in the Fresno Christian gymnasium. Including Jacob Hyatt, ’21, tying the high jump record, at 6’2 ft. and Lillian Fuller, ’21, who set a school record in long jump, jumping 15’9. Kamdon Marquez, ’22, set a school record as a freshman in the 100m dash. Bethany Pouliot, ’19, set two school records in high jump at 4’10.5 and triple jump, jumping 34’3. Many of the other athletes set personal records (PR) which they work towards throughout the season. 

Finishing his final season, senior and captain Kyle Friesen shares his favorite memory from his two years of track and how he grew this season. 

“I had a PR in every event this season,” Friesen said. “I think my biggest PR’s were in the 100m dash and the 200m. It was a really good season for me because I came back from last year which was my first year doing track. My body was a lot more developed and I had been lifting a lot more. I was just a lot stronger and faster. I think my favorite memory from this season was the Sierra Sequoia Championship and winning second place in the 100m dash.”

The last meet of the year before championships, North Area Qualifying Meet ended with  qualifying runners and jumpers Bethany Pouliot, Jacob Hyatt, and Lillian Fuller. Ending their season here, they were able to surpass many of the records.

P.E., strength and conditioning, and track coach, Michael Fuller shares what differences were made to improve the athletes and making them grow to the best of their abilities while pushing them and challenging the team.

“We adjusted our workout schedule to allow the athletes to have a little more recovery time and peak at the right time during the season,” said Fuller. “It paid off, especially for our senior captains, Kyle and Bethany. I give them encouragement and set challenges in workouts that they are supposed to complete. Those experiences give them practice for pushing through difficult competitive situations. For the most part, the athletes are self-motivated and just need occasional encouragement to persevere.”

The following tweet features Jacob Hyatt breaking Fresno Christian’s record for high jump.

The track team trains almost everyday if not at a meet. Their training sessions usually consist of lifting weights, running bleacher steps, or ladder and medicine ball work and follow with a drive to Clovis West High School for the running portion of the practice.

Second year track athlete, Alyssa Reese, ’21, explains her favorite part of the season and why she is sad to see the season ending.

“I ran in the 100m, 300m hurdles and the 4x100m relay this season,” Reese said. “This season was full of PR’s for me! Our relay team kept getting faster times, which was great, and I was always improving by a second or two in the hurdles. Although I am sad to lose our seniors, I am very glad this season is over. It felt like such a long season, but it was a great one, and I can’t wait for next year’s season!”

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With a triple jump of 34 feet, Bethany Pouliot, ’19, entered Fresno Christian’s record book.

“Every practice was so much fun with my teammates,” Reese continued. “We were really able to bond and become a family. We mead knew memories at each practice. Before the race, my friends and I do our ‘good luck handshake’, then, we pray and hope for the best. My sophomore season was way better than that of freshman year. I worked hard during the off-season to increase my speed, and thankfully it paid off.”

Many athletes look forward to the next year’s sports season whether that be volleyball, football, soccer, or baseball. Bethany Pouliot will be competing in the CIF Masters Meet on May 18 at Buchanan High School. 

For more articles check out Caleigh Alday strives in dance competition, earning title of Miss Dance or World-class photojournalist travels, shares stories from around the globe.

Annabelle Messer can be reached via email and Twitter.

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