Varsity Track & Field blaze through a record breaking season and continue on their path to a state-title


Junior Esfan Daya runs leg of school record breaking 4×800 relay

The Westminster varsity track and field team has had an amazing season so far, dominating the track with numerous record-breaking events. Both the girls and boys teams, as a whole, are undefeated in Georgia this season. In fact, head field coach LB Joel attributes some of this success to the underclassman and their incredible overall effort throughout the season. 

“This year there is a ton of young talent contributing to all events,” said Joel. “These underclassmen are the future of this team and they do not take the responsibility lightly.” 

Ever since the underclassmen joined the team in February, they followed a diligent and challenging practice regiment, due to the high-level competition they were going to face throughout the season. This competition is due to both the boys and girls teams moving up from 3A to 4A this year, meaning the athletes will have to work harder to defend their title.

Despite the expansive nature of the team, the coaches tailor specific warm-ups and workouts for the different events, improving each athlete specifically in preparation for meets. 

“When meet day comes around, we strive to be the most prepared team on the track,” said Joel. “The coaches and I like to break down complex movements and events into simple, repeatable drills so muscle memory can take over and help the athletes perform optimally in their events.” 

Clearly, the coaches’ intense and specific workout system has worked, as the team has accumulated multiple record-breaking titles this year. In fact, at the Georgia Spring Break Showdown in April, senior Christian Flournoy, senior William Gituku, junior Willem Mandel, and sophomore Ethan Mattingly broke the school record in the boys 4x400m relay with a time of 3:20:28. 

“It was an incredible feeling to cross that finish line as record breakers and bring home that victory for Westminster,” said Flournoy. “Our teamwork was amazing, and I think it really showed in our race.” 

These TrackCats weren’t the only ones to break a school record at the Spring Break Showdown. The girls 4x200m relay, led by senior Jada Bettis, junior Camille Quarterman, junior Ryan McFadden, and sophomore Marcilee Kinerman destroyed the school record with an impressive time of 1:44.88. 

“Breaking the record was an amazing feeling and was a culmination of all our hard work,” said McFadden. “Being able to compete with all of my teammates and friends was just the cherry on top, and I can’t wait to see how much faster we can get as the season progresses.” 

As the team begins to prepare for regionals, seniors continue to step up and provide leadership for the younger athletes. This invaluable leadership is what separates high-level athletes from others, as some seniors, such as Kelsey Chambers, will continue their track and field journey at the collegiate level.

“I can’t wait to be a part of such a time-knit ground of athletes who are all just as excited and dedicated to the team as me,” said Chambers. “Being a part of such an elite level team [Georgia Tech] is so exciting, and I can’t wait to continue my journey in track and field.” 

While the team is losing an immense amount of talent due to seniors graduating, the underclassmen continue to prove themselves as promising leaders with amazing skills, especially junior Phillips Moore. 

Moore was recently named the top ranked shot-putter in Georgia, holding an impressive distance of 59 feet and 10.25 inches. In March, Moore attended the Nike Nationals, where he was named an All-American and earned 5th place against some of the best highschool athletes in the world.

“Especially since I had just come off of a football injury, becoming the top ranked shot-putter in Georgia was incredible,” said Moore. “It was truly a dream come true.” 

Yet, the season is still in swing for the Cats, as Moore and other athletes are gearing up for regionals and state, hoping to bring home another victory for the Wildcats. 

As the state tournament comes closer, the coaches are creating more rigorous practices, all in an effort to win another title and fulfill the goals set by the team before the season.

“As the season started, we knew our goal was to gain two state titles,” said McFadden. “Coach Joel likes to say ‘we don’t put silver medals in the trophy case’ throughout the season. This allows us to work as hard as possible to obtain those titles at the end of the year.” 

Despite the high energy and expectations for the state tournament, Coach Joel reminds his athletes that it takes more than wishful thinking to win a title. Athletes are expected to work in the offseason, regardless of the outcome at the state tournament.

“All we want is for them to find a way to get better,” said Joel. “Our team knows that ‘you reap what you sow’ and the offseason is for sowing.” 

As the TrackCats head into the back half of their season, they continue to excite with their record breaking performances and ambitious goals of clinching another state title for the Wildcats.

Edited by James Rhee