Senior distance runners leave track program

Will Salaverry, Copy Editor

The long distance runners are incredibly important to the track team. These dedicated athletes leave from practice every day for long, grueling runs in the hills of Marin. Seniors Zoe Miller, Jenevieve Escabar, Aaron “Bugatti” Davidson, Shannon McKillop-Herr, and Henry Persily have been part of this legendary group for four years. Their hard training always pays off since they make it to the podium at every meet.

Much of the hard work ethic and stellar performance that can be seen during the 800, mile, and two mile is drilled into the self-titled “V people” by the seniors on the team.

The track team has changed. With long time coach Bill Taylor retiring in 2015 there was a power vacuum that needed to be filled. While the coaching situation was being resolved the level of consistency that the distance squad brought was crucial to maintaining the spirit of the team.

“One of our biggest accomplishments has been our resiliency. Even when coaching things weren’t going right and weird team stuff happened, we were still able to train at a high level.” McKillop-Herr said.
These seniors have built an impressive track record (no pun intended) over their four years.

“Getting to NCS was pretty big. We never thought we were going to make it. Also winning MCALs for the first time in 37 years. And both teams going to state.” Miller said.

The girls are also proud that they have been able to foster a real sense of community. They believe that the best aspect of the distance squad is how tightly knit the group has become.

“The biggest change is the connection between the seniors and the freshmen. When we were freshmen, we never really talked to the upperclassmen. But now we’re all really close with the freshmen. It’s more like a family.” Miller said.

On the boys side, Davidson and Persily feel that their greatest accomplishments don’t lie in their specific results, rather in how they have been able to maintain the caliber of the team.

“What’s been huge, especially this past season, is how we’ve made things come together. Two years ago, I’m sure a lot of people know, we had Jeremy and a lot of big names in recent Drake history.

“Last year we had to figure out how we could do it without those guys, and there were definitely some hoops to jump through. This year we’ve used what those guys left behind and made the best team Drake has ever seen.” Davidson said.

When looking back on their legacy, these seniors are proud of and excited for the traditions they will leave behind.

“Team dynamic changed a lot. We’ve always had a level of competition but it has come out a lot more this year. All of us want to win.

“Even during training runs we keep a competitive edge. Something that we’ll hopefully leave behind is our sense of competition. Everyone wants to be the best they can, and I think that mentality will continue when we’re gone.” Escabar said.

These seniors, along with their coach Robyn Berry, have built an amazing, welcoming program that can compete at the highest level of their sport.

“All of the seniors have an energy and passion for the sport that helps guide incoming athletes to get super into it.” McKillop-Herr said.