The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Jefferson indoor track celebrates senior night

Sami Nukta
The senior athletes receive roses after being commemorated by their coaches and principal Ann Bonitatibus. “The juniors decorated the area with streamers and balloons and got all the seniors gifts and baskets,” senior captain Aurora Richard said. “For all the seniors, [the theme] was to wear a black dress or black suit, but the guys just wore nicer clothes like khakis and a polo shirt.”

Jefferson track hosted its senior night in Franklin Commons on Feb. 8 for their indoor track athletes, following a successful season and District meet. The girls’ team placed third and the boys’ team placed fourth at Districts on Jan. 31 despite suffering setbacks due to sickness and injuries.

“As an individual, my season didn’t go so well. I was injured for all of it and tried running at Districts. I did alright and got third place in the 55-meter dash, but I injured myself, so no running for a while,” senior captain Steve Tchana said. “As a team, I think we did pretty good at Districts on the girls’ side and the guys’ distance side, but the guys’ sprint side didn’t do so [well]. We really got worse after losing our seniors from last year. I hope we can climb back next year when I’m gone.”

For senior captain Aurora Richard who’s been on the team all four years, her season didn’t go as planned due to a back injury.

“My season didn’t go that well because I’m coming off of a back injury and I didn’t run much after that,” senior captain Aurora Richard said. “It could’ve gone a lot better for my individual events. I’m hoping to do better in spring.”

The team also faced difficulty due to meets during the season that were canceled due to inclement weather and snow days. These impacted the team’s eligibility for certain events at Districts.

“How Districts works is that you have to run the race one time before you can even be eligible to run at Districts, so we had some really good guys in the 3200-meter run who didn’t get to run before Districts because meets got canceled,” Tchana said. “They weren’t even allowed to run at Districts, which is really sad.”

Although the team faced difficulty throughout the season leading up to districts, they have high hopes for their Regionals meet in Maryland from Feb. 14 to Feb. 15.

“We did pretty good [at Districts] and we have a lot of people going to regionals,” Richard said. “The relays went pretty well. Both the 4×200 team and 4×400 team which I run on are going to Regionals, which is next Wednesday and Thursday.”

For underclassmen like freshman Sita Lamartin, these seniors serve as models of perseverance and determination, being able to work through difficulty despite having a not-on-par season.

“All of the seniors are never down and never bring any of the team down,” Lamartin said. “So many of them have had huge setbacks and they have all come back better and won races. The seniors are always on task and I look up to them as experienced runners and hope to lead the team like they do. They are also very kind and have formed close bonds with the whole team.”

Some seniors will continue their track career into the spring season, while others have ended their track season already. Either way, senior night was a bittersweet celebration for seniors to reminisce about the years they’ve spent on the team.

“One of [my favorite memories] was States. I think might have been freshman or sophomore year. One of the coaches, Coach Matt [Jenkins], drove through a red light and it was just really funny,” Richard said. “I’ll miss the really cold weather that makes my fingers numb, [but] I’ll probably miss the people the most. A lot of my friends on the team are sophomores, so I’ll miss them a lot and I might come visit them in the next year or in two years when they’re seniors. Just the environment in general, the community is nice and I’ll miss running.”

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