After rough beginning, runners pick up their pace

Irene Feher

Birmingham runners Sherran, Savannah Orrill, Natalie and Kayla run alongside their competitors Taft runners during a track meet on April 22.
Jake Dobbs
Birmingham runners Sherran, Savannah Orrill (glasses), Natalie and Kayla run alongside their competitors Taft runners during a track meet on April 22.  

There are six coaches altogether.   Rosa Del Torro is the head coach for distance running which is from 800 meters to a mile, her assistant is Traci Law. Franklin coaches hurtle, Ngheim pole vault, Caruth sprints and Branch coaches high jump and shot put.

“It was easier on Coach Torres to have more help because everyone wanted to try and improve their times,” senior varsity captain Vanessa Barajas said. “Each runner had more attention. Like if you had an injury, Coach Del Torro would tell you what to do.”

The new coaches, such as Del Torro, gave runners individual attention and helped junior varsity distance runner Savannah Orrill improve her time.

“I didn’t work with her too much, but she was very encouraging as a coach and coached me to improve my running time,” Orrill said. “I improved my running stature, as well as my endurance.”

The team has been practicing more on the track, than they did in cross country and faster workouts were implemented in practice.

“In the beginning of the season, we did long runs during practice. But Coach Del Torro noticed the team had to finish stronger in races,” Barajas said. “So we started doing faster workouts in practice.” 

Even the sprinters who don’t have Del Torro as their coach have seen the distance runners and the team do better in meets.

“I don’t work with coach Del Torro but I’ve seen a lot of improvement in our meets and races,” freshman Jade Ajileye said.

The season is over and runners like Barajas qualified for the prelims and league finals. She ran the mile for prelims on May 8 and made it to league finals for the two mile on May 15. For the league finals, varsity runners automatically qualify for the two mile.

“I was very satisfied with my results from prelims,” Barajas said. “I PRed (personal record) and my time was 6:01 for the one mile,” Barajas said.