MVRHS track athletes compete with the nation’s best


This weekend, four MVRHS indoor track athletes competed at the New Balance Nationals in Boston: seniors Daniel Serpa, Daniel da Silva and Eloise Christy, as well as sophomore Camille Brand.

Indoor Nationals were held at New Balance’s state-of-the-art facility, featuring a hydraulically banked 200m track, stands for 5,000 spectators, and sparkler fountains at the finish line.

Along with cameramen, announcers, and interviewers, “There [were] probably thousands of people there; competitors, coaches, [and the] audience,” said Brand. 

“Being in that environment is always something special,” added Serpa. “Everyone around is at the top of their game.”

Christy and Brand went up to Boston on Thursday, for their high jump on Friday. They had set the joint school record of 5’2” earlier in the season, and were looking to break it again. It would be no easy task, however, as Christy was coming off an injury, and it was Brand’s first exposure to the big stage. 

“It’s easy to get inside your own head… especially when your legs are shaking with anxiety as you step up to your mark,” Brand stated.

Unfortunately, Christy wasn’t able to shake off the rust and didn’t make it past 1.48m, or 4’10.25”. But with Christy’s support, Brand was able to drown out the noise and lock in, finishing in ninth with a jump of 1.58m, or 5’2.25”. 

Brand was the top underclassman finisher in the Rising Stars division, and successfully broke her own MVRHS school record. Even more impressively, it’s Brand’s first year as a high jumper. “I’m still developing my skills, but I’m off to a great start,” she said.

Next up were Serpa and da Silva, who joined Coach Joe Schroeder on Friday for their 800m race on Saturday. These two were not new to racing at the national level, and even captured gold in the 4x800m, Emerging Elite division, last June at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, (alongside alumni Jonathan Norton and Zach Utz). 

Interestingly enough, however, the pair hadn’t raced in the 800m all season. They qualified for Nationals via their 1000m times, which was the event they primarily focused on this winter. Furthermore, Serpa and da Silva had dealt with sickness and a foot injury, respectively, down the stretch, which limited the number of meets they were able to compete in.

Nevertheless, their experience, dedication, and talent showed on Saturday, as they each achieved personal records (1:59.47; 2:01.03), with Serpa also snagging the MVRHS school record (by seven seconds) in the process. They finished 25th and 38th in the nation’s Rising Stars division, respectively.

Serpa and da Silva’s hunger for success was evident in their post-meet comments. “These are things that we have talked about doing for months, and to actually see our efforts rewarded was an amazing feeling,” Serpa stated. 

da Silva added, “Race day definitely felt pretty stressful, and even though we might not have done as well as we wanted, it felt great afterwards to simply just have been a part of it. [Now,] we keep moving forward as we still have one more season.”

Reflecting on the weekend as a whole, Coach Joe Schroeder had tons of praise for his star athletes. “They’re such a great group, and they were rewarded with their performances… It was so much fun to watch them; we had a blast.” Next, Schroeder and co. will begin preparation for the outdoor track season, which begins later this month.


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