On track for success

Sacred Heart's Antaplyan, a sophomore, has caught on to running in a very short time

May 27, 2010|By Gabriel Rizk

You could say that Paulina Antaplyan didn't have much of a track record.

Prior to this spring, when it came to running, the only experience the Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy sophomore had was in sprinting up and down the soccer field.

And while her athleticism was never in doubt, there wasn't much reason for anyone, including Antaplyan herself, to expect that her foray into track and field would be much more than a conditioning exercise for her more serious pastime.


"I wanted to run track to keep in shape for soccer," Antaplyan says, "but I also wanted to be competitive in it.

"I tried it and it turned out to be really fun, and I really enjoyed it."

Antaplyan has been more than competitive in her first year of high school track. As the season went on, she grew into the Tologs' top distance runner.

She also proved herself among the elite of the powerful Mission League, earning a spot in Saturday's CIF Southern Section Division IV finals at Cerritos College.

At the event, Antaplyan closed out her rookie season with two personal records and a pair of fifth-place finishes in her individual events.

"We're super excited that she's done this well, especially because it's her first year," Sacred Heart Coach Eddie Gorton says. "We don't know how fast she is [yet]. She just keeps running, running, running, and we keep changing our goals every week."

A quick study on the track, Antaplyan has been a surprise that keeps on getting better for the Tologs.

Her 1,600 times have steadily gotten faster, and her first attempt at running the 3,200, at the Mission League finals on May 6, resulted in a second-place finish that moved her on to the Division IV prelims on Saturday at Carpinteria High.

"I was really excited to qualify for the mile and two-mile, especially the two-mile [because] I had only run it one other time at a meet," said Antaplyan, who qualified ninth in the 1,600 in 5 minutes 15.66 seconds and eighth in the 3,200 in 11:26.79. "I'm really excited to run against all the really great runners in the division. It will be fun."

When Antaplyan first approached Gorton about going out for track, she made sure to explain to him that she had commitments to her club soccer team, and early on in the season, she was absent from some track activities to attend soccer practice.

Soon, however, Antaplyan did some shifting of her priorities, eventually giving up club soccer to focus full time on her quickly developing track abilities.

La Canada Valley Sun Articles La Canada Valley Sun Articles