Girls track teams race their way to the podium

It has been years since a Mountaineer track team found success at the national level. But this fall, the 4×400 track team – senior Michaella Namiotka, sophomore Nyah Santana, junior Ashlynn Witt, and freshman Rahma Giwa – placed 8th at New Balance Nationals. 

“They work really hard all the time,” said senior track team member Anna White. “The amount of extra time they put into track is insane.”

Senior and teammate Abby White agreed. 

“All of them work so hard every day,“ said White. “They definitely earned their chance to compete there [New Balance Nationals].” 

At track meets and practices the team makes winning first place their priority. But when removed from the competitive atmosphere, these Mountaineers make time to relax together. 

“I have been on this [track] team since my freshman year, “ said Santana. “And all these girls have had my back since then.”

Junior and teammate, Ashlynn Witt, agreed with Santana. 

“The team chemistry has definitely helped us get where we are,” said Witt. “We always try to hang out before or after practice.”

Compared to popular sports such as basketball or softball, the achievements earned by athletes in track & field tend to go unnoticed.

“We train for sometimes months longer than other girls or teams,” said senior captain Emily Raymond. “But nobody knows that.” 

Those extra hours and workouts played a crucial role in the success of these girls who earned 8th in the 4×4 relay and 3rd in the sprint medley relay. 

“It was kind of surreal [making it to nationals],” said Raymond. “We worked so hard sophomore year to go and because of Covid it got canceled. It’s awesome to finally experience nationals after working so hard for so long.”