Finding Their Strides


Melanie Diaz and Monique Diaz

The girls’ track season was one full of uncertainty to begin with but as the season went on, it found a rhythm.

“It was a special group where we had people at all levels and at all events competing. (We) didn’t have a clue (how the team would do) and all of a sudden we had athletes coming out of the woodworks,” coach Ray Arambula said.

The season began Feb. 7 at Austin but it wasn’t until the following week that the team really took off.

At the end of the basketball season, the majority of the team joined, including most of their relay team and jumpers such as Yaritza Carrasco, 10.

“My favorite thing about track is that I got a lot of medals for my hard work,” Carrasco said.

Ana Granados, 10, is part of the cross country team so she’s been on the team since day one.

She joined coach Arambula from the start, who also is taking over as the coach in his first season. As a football assistant coach but also a track assistant last year, he said he was asked by coach Andres Vale to take over, which he did.

“They were blasting (the season) to oblivion. They were setting new PR’s (personal records) every week,” coach Arambula said.

Just as the season was going, the team had to call its season to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They were in the middle of their track meet at Riverside when the season was temporarily called off March 14. A few weeks later, the season was called off officially, which was very disheartening for the girls

“I miss running, competing, and I miss seeing my friends. Myself competing, being able to beat my own time,” Granados said.

Carrasco was looking forward to finishing the year to continue beating her best times.

“I was going to work so hard so I can beat my PRs. I do miss it because I miss running and the coaches,” Carrasco said.

Granados said she’s still looking forward to years to come as the team is expecting to go to Arizona next year.

“Next year is the year that we travel to Arizona to run and it’s fun to see runners because they’re from college and they’re huge,” Granados said.

Valeria Lopez, 10, said she had a successful track year however she is disheartened by the sudden finish but hopes to just continue improving for the next two years.

“My track year went pretty well. My favorite thing about track is that you get better on your times,” Lopez said.