Chap Relays predicts successful season for Chaps

Westlake hosted the annual Chap Relays Feb. 23 at the Chaparral Stadium. The event ran from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The athletes endured unfavorable racing conditions with strong wind and an unremitting, blazing sun. Westlake competed against Anderson, Vista Ridge, McNeil, Lake Travis, Del Valle and Rouse, with the girls varsity team placing second and the boys varsity team placing third overall.

“I thought the girls did a great job,” head girls and boys track coach Bert Bonnecarre said. “There were seven teams participating in a meet that was very closely contested. There was a very small difference in points scores from first to second place.”

The boys varsity track team was led by senior Chris Vescovo, sophomore Charlie Dawson and  freshman Ben Allen. On the girls side, sophomore Elina Mettalae, junior Maddie Dawson, junior Elise Smoot, sophomore Cassidy Beard and freshman Evan Biles came through with fast times to place second.

Bonnecarre had high praise in particular for Elina, who won the  800 with a time of 2:19.51. Additionally, Elina helped in winning the Distance Medley Relay and in securing second place in the 4×400 relay.

Elina had an outstanding meet,” Bonnecarre said. “Her performance is becoming a very consistent standard for our team.”

Elina was satisfied with her place in the 800, but admits the adverse weather played a factor in her race.

“I’m happy that I won the 800, but I didn’t get the time I wanted because of the wind,” Elina said. “The racing conditions weren’t the best on Saturday. Overall, I think that this will be a great season, and our team’s in good shape. Our 4×400-meter team is fast this year. We’ve got four good runners, and I think we have a chance to run the school record this year.”

Sophomore Charlie Dawson competed in the 800-meter race for the first time this season, winning with a breakthrough time of 2:00.05. In the mile, Charlie posted a time of 4:49.62, placing fourth.

“In the 800 I was really surprised by my performance,” Charlie said. “I PR’d by six seconds, which I definitely wasn’t expecting to do. Going forward, I’m gonna have more of a focus on the 800 than the mile.”

Ben, who is new to both the cross country and track programs, is proving to be a valuable asset to the team. On Saturday, Ben won the two-mile with a time of 10:28.37.

“[Winning the two mile] was the last thing I expected,” Ben said. “I want to keep improving.”

Bonnecarre recognized both Charlie and Ben’s wins as predictive of future improvement.

“Charlie Dawson and Ben Allen had break-out days with wins in the varsity 800 and 3200,” Bonnecarre said. “Both ran very smart races. I look for them to get better.”