It seems like only yesterday that Scotts Valley High junior Ashlyn Boothby and the rest of her teammates were lacing up their shoes to compete in another grueling track and field season.
However, the season is already near the finish line as they get ready to battle in this week’s Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Championships at Santa Cruz High on Friday at 4pm.
“This track season went by so incredibly fast,” Boothby said. “I can’t believe that it’s already the week of league [finals]. But I’m super pleased with how things have been going.”
At the beginning of the season, Boothby wanted to go sub 4 minutes, 45 seconds in the 1,600 meter race. She almost set that goal by finishing in 4:45.95 at the Arcadia Invitational on April 8.
“It wasn’t quite sub 45 yet, but I’m gonna do the 1,600 at league and CCS and hopefully State, so I’ll have plenty of chances to do that,” she said.
Boothby will attempt to take back her 1,600 title at this weekend’s SCCAL Championship following a second-place finish to her sister, Amber, in last year’s finals.
Another goal that Boothby has her eyes set on is going sub 10:10 in the 3,200, which is a race she doesn’t often compete in.
“I don’t really know what I’m capable of in that event, especially because I haven’t done a whole lot. So, that’ll be exciting,” she said.
Scotts Valley coach Todd Hoffman said Boothby doesn’t take shortcuts, works hard and is coachable.
“She doesn’t like to back off,” he said. “But she understands why. It’s the drive, she’s just got that engine and then she just understands that she’s not afraid to compete. She’s not afraid to hurt because it’s going to hurt.”
Hoffman mentioned the best thing they saw from Boothby this year was that she went out and had fun the entire time.
Boothby set a new record in the 3,200 in 10:26.12 at the Dublin Distance Fiesta on March 18. She surpassed Scotts Valley alumna and legendary runner Vanessa Fraser, who previously set the mark at 10:28.
Last year, Boothby broke Fraser’s record in the 1,600 and then reset her own record in 4:45.95 at the Arcadia Invitational. Fraser was at the event to watch Boothby in action.
“I had an amazing race in the 1,600 racing in such a stacked field with so many talented runners and Vanessa being there at the finish line was just definitely one of the highlights of the season,” Boothby said.
Amber Boothby ran her best race of the season with an 11:02.02 finish in the 3,200 at the Central Coast Section Top 8 race on April 21. However, she won’t be running at this week’s SCCAL Championships due to personal reasons.
The Falcons will still have other standouts, including senior Rafaela Putnam, freshman Ava Decleve, Rayne Leonetti and Sarah Drees.
“They’re all so excited,” Hoffman said.
On the boys side, Aiden Boothby will race in the 3,200, while Mason Lantz and both Ben and Spencer George will compete in the 800. Sam Freeman is peaking at the right time in the 400 and 200 along with the 4×400 race.
Hoffman has also been impressed with a couple of sprinters in Eli Velez and RJ Bradfield, who transitioned from the football team.
“It’s been fun to watch them develop,” Hoffman said. “They’re not saying I’m a football player trying to get faster. I’m a track athlete trying to get faster.”
Hoffman said he’d love to see all of the Falcons athletes win, but he ultimately just wants them to go into the race and do the very best they can on that particular day.
“If we get people to CCS and State, that’s great,” he said. “But just to look back on the season, and just realize that they were part of something very special, and that they just had a really fun time.”
Hoffman also praised the track team for coming together, especially this season with the dirt track and the rain storms that made it difficult because there were days they couldn’t practice at San Lorenzo Valley High School.
“Nobody complained,” he said. “They all came together and worked hard, and just supported each other. It’s just been a great year.”
If all goes well, the season should continue for a couple of more weeks for Boothby and her teammates. The CCS Track and Field semifinals are set for May 13 and the finals are May 20, both at Gilroy High School.
Boothby said the only sad part about it is this could be the last race of the season for some on the team, which is definitely bittersweet.
“I’m just working through it,” she said. “I have my sights set on CCS and State, but I’m gonna savor the last race of the season that I have with all of my teammates. A little bit sad but it’ll be fun.”