DVHS relay teams falls short at Bay Area Relays

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  • Senior Daniel Municio runs the last leg of the DMR for boys varsity A team.

  • Sophomore Arrin Sagiraju runs the 1200 meter leg for boys varsity A team.

  • Junior Niharika Bangalore starts the race off with the 1200 meter for girls varsity B team.

  • Senior Ananya Shaligram runs the shortest of the four distances for the girls varsity A team.

  • Senior Vrishank Devagudi runs for the boys varsity B team.

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Dougherty Valley’s varsity track team competed at Foothill High School’s Bay Area Relays on Saturday, March 25, in the girls and boys varsity distance medley relay (DMR) races. The boys A team expected to qualify for the prestigious Arcadia Invitational in Los Angeles on April 7th, but a disqualification stopped the team. 

In the DMR, four runners race distances of 1200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters and 1600 meters. Dougherty entered two teams, an A and B team, in each of the girls and boys varsity DMR races. 

The girls A team ran juniors Liana Lee, Natalie Chan and seniors Ananya Shaligram and Riyanka Narasimhan. The boys A team consisted of sophomores Arrin Sagiraju, Carter Bliss, and seniors Daniel Municio and Aryan Srivastava. This was the boys team’s last chance to run a qualifying time of 10:58 as the minimum standard for Arcadia’s marks. 

“In these races, you just go out and try to compete because you’re really not going to run well in these races, especially when you’re out on your own 90% of the time, [with no one to pace you],” Municio, the anchor for the boys A team, said. 

Meanwhile, the girls A team aimed for personal or team records, believing that the qualifying time for girls DMR of 12:58 was too far out of their reach. 

“I just want to have fun because we are not [trying to] qualify for anything,” junior Mayadah Abdelmagid said. 

For the girls A team, it was the second time the group ran together in a race, with their last time being 13:15. 

“I’m nervous, I’ve only run one DMR before, and there are a lot more teams,” Shaligram said before the race. “[But] it’s also exciting to run with distance [runners].”

As the only sprinter, Shaligram ran in the 400 meter leg, pushing the girls A team to a final time of 13:03 in 5th place. 

“I thought it was a really fun experience, but I’m not doing that again. It was a one time experience,” junior Nikitha Bangalore, a distance runner, said about running the 400 meter event on the girls B team for the first time ever. 

The girls B team raced a time of 14:30, with a team record since they last competed together at the first race of the season, Stocking Super 7 Invitational.

The boys A team ended up finishing in 4th place, with a time of 10:49 that would have allowed them to qualify for Arcadia. Unfortunately, they were disqualified after being reported for pacing, which is when a non-competing athlete runs alongside a teammate competing in the race. 

“We ran the time, everyone saw us run the time, and everybody knows we can run the time, so just getting DQ’d like that is disappointing,” Municio said. 

Arcadia Invitational is one of the more prestigious track and field meets in the country, with over 690 schools competing this year, and across 36 states. Arcadia also holds 33 national records, and has hosted 203 U.S. Olympians. 

“It’s really easy to go in expecting that you are going to execute it and then it just doesn’t happen,” Municio said. “This would have been a really good learning experience for Arrin and Carter to go to Arcadia.” 

However, because of their previous individual performances, the boys A team qualified for Arcadia’s 10:39 aggregate time for boys DMR. They will be racing at the Arcadia Invitational next weekend.