By Clarine See (18S03G), Shervon Lee (19S06A) and Varun Karthik (19S06A)
Photographs courtesy of Raffles Track and Field
On the afternoon of 12th April, the National Stadium came to life as crowds of student supporters streamed in steadily, buzzing with excitement and anticipation. The atmosphere was electric. Athletes on the receiving end of the rapt attention of thousands of spectators no doubt felt the pressure to perform, and a palpable tension hung in the air. Stands were filled, coloured clappers were blown up, cheer-offs were held and the athletes took their places on the track, ready to give their all.
Despite another event happening on the field, everyone’s eyes were drawn to the track as the finals commenced in earnest with the 100m sprint. Tanisha Moghe (18A01A), fuelled by her hard work and hunger for a medal, kick-started the day by bagging a silver. Riding on the high of a win, supporters cheered in earnest for the Girls’ 4x100m Relay team who fought hard and pulled ahead. Though they initially trailed the pack with a 7th placing, the team managed to pick up the pace and speed its way to a 4th placing. The Boys’ 4x100m Relay team did not disappoint either, clinching the bronze medal and setting a personal best for themselves in a closely-fought race where winners were decided by mere hundredths of a second.
With each subsequent event, the crowd only got wilder as the stakes were upped for each school. In the Girls’ 4x400m Relay, the cheering reached a fever-pitch as the girls picked up speed with every passing of the baton, finishing a commendable 5th. The last race of the day, the Boys’ 4x400m Relay, ended the finals off on a high. Various schools’ positions on the leaderboard were an uncertainty till the very end, and in a tight race filled with constant overtaking, the boys stole the show and clinched a bronze. The colours of green, black, and white soared high, as our trackers took their respective places on the podium in the Victory Ceremony.
From Raffles Press’ interviews and interaction with the graduating batch of trackers, it was immediately apparent that what they would miss most about the CCA is the camaraderie they share with their fellow CCA mates. Jonathan Low (18S03P), Captain of the Boys’ Team, reflected on how Track and Field has given him “lasting friendships and great teammates who support and encourage one another”, and how even as this event marks the end of a six year journey that has been filled with “many moments of euphoria and heartbreak”, he will definitely cherish all the memories he has forged with his team.
The strong sense of camaraderie forged between the trackers comes as no surprise, given the many trials they faced together. Vice-Captain Varian Teo (18S06E), once faced the difficult decision of possibly leaving the CCA in JC after sustaining a major injury, but found the willpower to carry on through the constant encouragement he received from seniors and batchmates. Looking back, he has realised that “the achievements in the CCA [are] second to the friendships I have made”, and is thankful for the lessons in “hard work and perseverance” that Track has given him.
Vice-Captain Koh Zhi Xuan (18S03A) faced her fair share of difficulties as well. Having made the change from running the 400m event to doing long jumps just mere months before the competition, she had to “start from ground zero” and adapt quickly. She explained that long jumps require “so much more techniques”, including the run towards the sandpit, the take-off, and the landing. Despite having to pick up a new skill-set in such a short time, she never gave up, crediting her coach for being her “strongest pillar of support”.
Throughout the competition, the team spirit shone bright. Even as the athletes found their preparation and training hampered by inclement weather and scheduling conflicts, they forged on. Pole vaulter Misaki Tan (18A01E) injured her ankle only a few days prior to the competition, but pushed on through the pain as she completed what was possibly her last ever pole vault. Every tracker, in their individual displays of determination and effort, contributed to keeping the flame of hope alive amidst setbacks and obstacles.
While the long journey to the National Stadium has been filled with highs and lows for the team, their effort truly paid off with the podium finishes that they achieved. As Vice-Principal Mr Edward Ng proudly remarked, the stellar performance by the trackers represent “not just the dreams of this team that have won”, but also “the past 28 years of teams that have been working towards it.” Indeed, the achievements of the team were made possible by the culture of support and hard work of the CCA members that has persisted till today.
While these trackers might be leaving behind a family as they conclude their Track and Field journey, they will leave with ingrained values such as determination and perseverance. To quote Tanisha, Captain of the Girls’ Team, “9 years of track has made me, me.” The time spent in this CCA has been instrumental in shaping every tracker, gifting them with values and principles that will guide them in life beyond their track careers. As the championship season comes to an end, Raffles Press would like to congratulate the team for an outstanding showing, and wishes the Track and Field team many more years of excellence to come. Press would like to end this article with parting messages from the Captains and Vice-Captains of the Boys’ and Girls’ teams to their juniors.
“Keep training hard and give your 110% for every session, because all these will bring you somewhere! Believe in yourself, that you have what it takes to achieve your goals and bring back the title. Stay tight together as a batch and have fun too, because these friendships and memories that you’ve forged are what that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.” – Boys’ Captain Jonathan Low
“The relationships with your track family are going to last longer than the memories of your achievements in Track. So I hope that you all keep training hard, but also invest yourself in the family by constantly encouraging one another and helping those who maybe facing difficulties in their journey. Go get it!” – Boys’ Vice-Captain Varian Teo
“Once you tell yourself you can’t do it, you won’t. Be confident in your abilities and don’t let doubt affect your performance. Keep hustling and let your results do the talking.” – Girls’ Captain Tanisha Moghe
“Always believe that next year is YOUR year. Carry that discipline that has tided you thus far for the all the trainings ahead. Your time in track will be over even before you know it, so treasure and savour every moment. Always have faith and do not lose hope. All the best for the next season & beyond!” – Girls’ Vice-Captain Koh Zhi Xuan
Boys: Overall 2nd
|Pole Vault||5th – Lim Zheng Ting Walden
6th – Abdul Rauf B Saharudin
7th – Gareth Ong Bao Sheng
|Javelin||2nd – Low Ming Herng Joel
5th – Keith Chua Zi Yuan
8th – Jerome Wong Jen Hoe
|High Jump||5th – Foo Mao Yang, Alex|
|Long Jump||3rd – Sven Shane Chen|
|Triple Jump||4th – Sven Shane Chen|
|Discus||1st – Jonathan Low Jun Jie
4th – Ryan Ng Kai Kiat
|Shot Put||2nd – Jonathan Low Jun Jie
7th – Jerome Wong Jen Hoe
|110m Hurdles||3rd – Shaun Hin Fei
6th – Walter Tong Han Jie
|400m Hurdles||2nd – Shaun Hin Fei
5th – Lee Sheng Hao
|200m||6th – Joshua Timothy D’Cruz|
|400m||4th – Marcus Tan Lai He
7th – Dylan Lim Mao Shen
|800m||4th – Nedunchezian Selvageethan
7th – Jethro Sim Sheng Yang
|1500m||3rd – Nedunchezian Selvageethan|
|3000m||2nd – Armand Dhilawala Mohan|
|5000m Walk||8th – Jared Wong Jing Jie|
|4 x 100m Relay||3rd|
|4 x 400m Relay||3rd|
Girls: Overall 4th
|Pole Vault||3rd – Shi Jiayi, Joey|
|400m Hurdles||7th – Chua Shang Lian, Linnette
8th – Chan Yi Juan
|100m||2nd – Tanisha Moghe|
|200m||2nd – Tanisha Moghe|
|800m||8th – Chan Yi Juan|
|1500m||5th – Toh Ting Xuan|
|2000m||1st – Quah Li Ying Elaine
6th – Chen Hwee Yee
8th – Yeo Wen Yu Rebecca
|3000m||1st – Toh Ting Xuan
2nd – Quah Li Ying Elaine
|3000m Walk||2nd – Chen Hwee Yee
7th – Yi Mon
|4 x 100m Relay||4th|
|4 x 400m Relay||5th|