From the olympics to high school track, Harris is crafting greatness


Gabe Stamat

New track coach Ronnie Harris watches as his track team races in the Arcadia Distance Challenge in Arcadia, Calif., on March 18. Track saw first- and second-place finishes in the two races Poway runners competed in.

Recently, track athletes had a fresh start to their season: a new coach. A former Olympian and volunteer cross country coach, Ronnie Harris, was hired as the head coach.
Harris had plenty of prior experience with coaching.
“It was my first time coaching at the high school level. I have coached in an assistant role at the collegiate level at the U.S. Naval Academy in the past,” Harris said.
Runners look up to Harris and respect his coaching abilities.
“He has really helped me better my running form, endurance, and speed. Coach Ronnie is extremely motivating and dedicated. You can tell he really wants to be there to help us improve,” senior Alexandrea Porrino said.
Harris competed in the Olympic Trials in 1996.
“[The Olympic Trials] comes every four years and the best runners in the country are there to answer one simple question: ‘Are you one of the three best runners in the U.S.?’ … 12 and a half laps later, I stood on the podium as the Olympic Trials 5,000 meter bronze medalist,” Harris said as he reflects on his experience.
Harris compared his Olympics experience to Tessa Buswell’s experience winning the state championship in Cross Country this past fall. He said it was an experience that only occurs once in a lifetime, adding that his feelings during the Olympics were surreal.
So far, Harris has motivated his athletes well, as the Titans have already won two meets against La Costa Canyon and San Marcos.
They have big races in the Arcadia Invitational on April 7-8 and the Mt. Sac Relays on April 14-15, where the best of the Varsity level will compete against the top competitors in the state.
Track will finish their regular season with a home dual meet with Rancho Bernardo on April 27 before the Palomar League finals on May 6 at Mt. Carmel High School.