Running In a New Direction

Jemere Shaw

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Jemere Shaw

Running In a New Direction

The 2018-2019 Spring track season started out with a lot of uncertainty, new coaches, and some familiar faces, but it wound up being quite successful.

The 2019 spring track team is coached by Yanibel Caraballo and Jacqueline Thompson.

Thompson’s face is familiar for her role as an English teacher at UACHS, but she also has extensive knowledge and experience within the athletic field. Her expertise has made her a more than viable candidate for the assistant coach position, especially since she herself has been in the same position as student athletes.

“I have been an athlete since Freshman year in highschool,” Thompson said. “Our biggest goal was to unify the runners, it seemed that many were focused on the divisions for which they ran instead of working to motivate and push one another. We emphasized that medals were not the only thing they should be working towards. Personal bests are just as crucial to pushing towards and breaking.”

Caraballo, who is an Algebra teacher at UACHS, also has extensive experience within the athletic department. Throughout her academic career she experienced the strong bonds that playing sports forms, she did not limit herself to one sport however and she believes that to help her motivate and understand the ups and downs that members experience.

“Throughout high school, I played a lot of sports. Every season, I was either playing softball or track. I was also a part of the cheerleading squad also. The bonds team members form is strong, I formed them and I wanted the team to strengthen the bond they’d built,” Caraballo said. “As a person who played the sports I understand what it’s like to be frustrated, and not wanting to go to practice but we have worked hard as a team to push one another and be better as a whole.”

With the exit of Coach Williams at the beginning of the season many of the returning track members were hesitant to have a new coaching staff.

“To fill Fredric Williams’ shoes, which are big shoes to fill is a challenge. We wanted the teammates to know that with new coaches, come new workout routines, expectations, and etc. Our biggest goal was to have the members build trust in ourselves as coaches, themselves and learning from someone new,” Caraballo said.

After embracing the new leaders of the Generals track team, it proved that not only were they stronger runners, but they were champions as well. This season alone the team earned a trophy and the runners have acquired 72 individual medals.

Quarice Lambert, a freshman, believes that encouragement from his peers and coaches helped his performance.

“Positivity and encouragement was key from coaches and teammates to help players improve upon performance.  In the beginning of the season I started off a little slow, but with the encouragement from coaches and teammates I was able to pick it up and finish strong,” said Lambert.

Lambert is happy with how the season went for him and his team.  

“The season was good for us as a team, although I didn’t perform to the best of my abilities in the end I still did pretty good,” said Lambert.

A key goal for many members on the team was getting medals, which is what willed the team from start to finish.

“Getting a medal is one of the things that pushed me to get better each and everyday,” said Lambert.

In the upcoming year the team hopes to continue their success and hopefully their hard work and strong connections will carry them through.


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