The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

The Student News Site of Poway High School

The Iliad

Post-season championships spring into action

Ryan Gage

The hour was early, but Del Norte stadium was alive with motion, as athletes from all over the county lined up to compete in their respective events at CIF San Diego Division One Prelims on May 4. With a rippling crack of the starting gun, one of the day’s most anticipated events, the girls’ 4x800m relay commenced. 

At the start there is chaos unfolds as 13 athletes representing 13 different teams battle for the first place position. By the third leg, a clear frontrunner had emerged as Alessandra Santavicca, a determined Poway freshman ran a blistering 2:23 split. When the baton was handed off to senior relay anchor Tessa Buswell, victory was all but assured, as Buswell only further grew the team’s lead over their competitors. Crossing the line in 9:37.43, the girls 4×800 had made it through to CIF Finals in a victorious fashion.

As the regular season drew to a close, the best and brightest stars on the Poway track and field team have been gearing up for the high-stakes, high-pressure nature of postseason competition. Athletes sought to leap, vault, and run their way into the history books at the few remaining meets left in the season. 

Unfettered by the hard road ahead, Coach Ronald “Ronnie” Harris has been preparing a select group of athletes to represent Poway at state. Harris’s promise to his athletes is to give them the tools to improve each week, “going to state is my duty, the state meet means I kept my promise,” Harris said.

As much as the state meet means to their coach, it means just as much to Poway’s athletes, “winning would mean the world to me and just be a huge accomplishment to end the season on,” senior Tessa Buswell said.

Buswell is returning to state championships for the fourth time running in the 800m. Last year she placed third in the event with a PR of 2:08.3, and this year she intends to top the podium. After years of putting in practice over club and high school track, she is ready to execute the most important performance of her career thus far “to win this last race would make all my hard work really worth it,” Buswell said.

Her chances are looking pretty good, as she recently won the 800m at the CIF San Diego Section Track and Field Championships for the fourth time in her high school career and set a meet record in the process. Buswell will be heading to Brigham Young University (BYU) next year to continue running track and cross country for their division one teams.

The Girls 4x800m relay team also battled for the chance to compete at the CIF State Championships at San Diego Section Finals, but just fell short. They finished fourth in a school record time of 9:31.83 in the heavily competitive event. Despite things not working out as they envisioned, the team remains undiscouraged. 

“It’s been a great experience to close off the year on. I think we all learned a lot this season and I hope we can return to compete in this event again next year, even with the loss of two senior relay team members,” freshman Alessandra Santavicca said.

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