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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

Track and field athletes chase records: 2024 season recap

Pictures+from+the+2024+season
Micah Brooks
Pictures from the 2024 season

As the soccer cages go back into storage and the sun peaks from the clouds, 120 student-athletes make their way down to the familiar nine red lanes, carrying their spikes, bottles of water, and team spirit. Led by a stellar coaching staff that has unique specialties allowed for Buena to have such success in the 2024 season.

From start to finish, Buena’s track team had the most achievements from their sprint athletes, namely junior Taylor Murphy, senior Madison Easter, freshman Aubrey Easter, and senior Chloe Williams set the school record for the 4×100-meter relay and junior Kami Rodriguez joined Murphy, Easter, and Williams to set the 4×200 relay record ranked 14th in California.  

(from left to right) Coach Nathan Somars, Aubrey Easter, Madison Easter, Chloe Williams, and Avery Murphy at Winter Arcadia.

The members of these relays also hold impressive individual times. This year, Madison Easter dethroned the previous 100-meter dash record from 1982, setting the new record at 11.74 seconds and smashed the 1977, 200-meter record shortly after at 24.21 seconds. 

Not far behind her are her teammates Williams, who precedes Madison Easter in the 200-meter dash and is ranked fourth in the 100-meter, and Taylor Murphy, who takes 3rd in the 100-meter. 

After finishing her high school career, Madison Easter is ranked 16th in the 100-meter dash, 20th in the 200-meter dash, and second in the 150-meter dash in the state of California. 

“Maddie Easter is [the MVP] in terms of point scoring and records,” girls track head coach Michelle Burns said. Easter accumulated almost 40 points every meet for the team and anchored all of the record-holding relays. 

“Running four events each meet was a lot on me, but I think it really helped to push me to be better this year,” Madison Easter said. Her efforts paid off, as she’ll be running Division I track next year at Cal Poly Slo. 

The boys’ team prospered in the short-distance events as well. But, where they truly stood out were the field jumpers. 

Senior Wakine Molina is one of nine previous Buena athletes who holds the 5th spot in the Buena high jump record and senior Chase Prittchard has the eighth and tenth spot in the Buena long jump and triple jump respectively. 

Aside from the meets, Buena track athletes practiced five days a week. The coaches believed that everyone should work out together, therefore JV and Varsity practiced as one. Doing so allowed the more experienced athletes to teach the younger ones while taking some of the load off of the coaches.

“They guide us on how to push yourself harder to get better,” sophomore sprinter Ben Everard said.

As the team doesn’t accumulate many different athletes than they have in cross country, it allows for them to bond and have a deep sense of community amongst each other. 

“Those guys were like family to me,” senior and captain Mason Evans said. “Some of them are even my children at this point. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Spending time with the same large group of people four hours every day can make practice feel like a game of house, but the upperclassmen make it a practice worth showing up for. 

“Evans has done a good job of bridging that gap with our younger kids,” Burns said. Having so many different age groups and levels in one field is hard, so with the help of specialized coaches and seniors taking on the task of passing down knowledge, there is a flow to the chaos of that many people.

I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I have like this last year if I didn’t have someone like Mason and Max”

— Ben Everard

To conclude the season, Buena had many  Channel League final finishers including Max Daniel’s 2nd place finish in the 300-meter hurdles, the boys 400-meter relay team (Jordan Watts, Jaxon Roberts, Josh Jimenez, and Daniels) placing second, and Prittchard earning Channel League champion for the boys long jump and second place in the triple jump.

Easter walked away with two Channel League titles in the 100 and 200-meter dash. In addition, Taylor Murphy took second in the 100-meter dash, Avery Murphy finished second in the 300-meter hurdles, and the girls’ 4×100-meter relay also took second. 

For all but six of Buena’s track and field athletes, league finals marked the end of their season. 

Division lll CIF-SS finals took place May 11th. where Madison Easter, Avery Murphy, Taylor Murphy, Williams, Molina, and Daniels headed up to Moorpark High School. The girls 4×100 relay finished 3rd and Easter took home two silver medals in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Daniels finished ninth in the 300-meter hurdles while Molina took seventh in the high jump. 

Madison Easter will return to run in the state championships on May 24 and 25. 

With the track and field season officially concluded, the underclassmen look to their up-and-coming runners to fill the new void from the loss of ten impactful seniors. 

 “It’s going to add a lot of weight to what I had before,” Everard said. “[I guess] I have to be that [the seniors] now. It’s going to be different.”

As for the coaches, Burns hopes that more students from other sports will venture out to the track and expand their athletic horizons

. ”I think it’s a very interesting and unique experience,” Burns said. “It’s one of those sports where boys and girls are on the same team and [you get] to meet all different kinds of people.”

Although running is the punishment for most sports, at Buena, a bond that lasts past high school is instilled from the second students suffer through their first lap. If the hours of coaching, effort, and practice don’t get through to the runners, then the most important lesson is, as Evans puts it: “Don’t go to Ventura to run track, go to Buena.” 

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Addison Bruno
Addison Bruno, Viewpoint Section Editor
Addy Bruno is a sophmore at BHS and is in her first year of Buena Speaks. She is an avid Chipotle lover and can be found laying on her floor thinking about the secrets of the universe. She is often described as an active human dolphin since shes played water polo for 6 years. She hopes to one day be running a yoga studio in the jungle with her 4 cats.

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