Track Star Emily Antonino Hopes To Make It To CCS

Danielle Sugrue, Managing Editor

IMG_7863When senior Emily Antonino isn’t clad in cleats and dribbling a soccer ball across PCS’s rugged field, she’s probably tearing up the track of neighboring school Santa Cruz High in her spikes.

Emily Antonino is beginning her third year of high school track and finishing up her fourth year of high school soccer. She also has been a member of the PCS cross-country team for three years. As one of the fastest members of her soccer team, she thought it would be a good idea to join the track team.

“I started running track sophomore year,” Antonino said. “I wanted to try something new, and various soccer coaches had told me I was fast, which served as encouragement. Nobody in particular encouraged me to do it though. Track had been a thing I had been wanting to try out for a while and I finally did it sophomore year.”

Introduced to the sport from a young age, soccer has always been an integral part of Antonino’s life.

“I think I started soccer in second grade,” she said. “I’ve always played on a league team outside of school, minus this year, since senior year somehow ended up being harder than junior year for me and I had to prioritize cross country over league soccer instead of doing both again.”

Despite her success in soccer, it is not her best sport. However, her work ethic has helped her to become successful on both the soccer field and the track.

“The only reason I play soccer is because I like it,” Antonino said. “I’ve been in a team that got last in the league, I’ve been the worst player on a team, and I’ve been a starter on a really good team. Basically what I’ve learned that if you are tenacious and stick with something for long enough, you will eventually stop being bad at it.”

For Antonino, running can be enjoyable, but it also requires hard work and perseverance.

“I have a love-hate relationship with the 800 [meters],” she said. “It’s the most painful form of torture you can put yourself under that somehow ends up being fun. Yes it’s always been my favorite for some reason, I think, because it brings out my competitiveness. It’s really terrifying because you’re basically sprinting the whole time, and basically sprinting two laps is horrible and painful, but strangely rewarding when you PR and run faster than your competition.”

The 2015 track season has only just begun, and Antonino aspires to finish strong. With a 5-minute, 38-second mile she hopes to break the school record of 5 minutes and 36 seconds. With a 26.71 second 200 meter personal record, she wants to beat the existing 26.54 second 200 meter record for PCS, currently held by senior Nicole Trenchard.

She also hopes to make it to California Coastal Section for the 800 meters for the second year in a row.

“Emily is a very talented athlete,” said track coach Jamey Harris. “She has a rare combination of speed and endurance. I really don’t think she fully realizes how good she could be.”

In eleventh grade, Antonino won the Mission Trail Athletic League Coastal Division individual championship for cross-country.

“Emily has been a joy to coach and watch run the past two years,” said cross-country coach Peter Fish. “She was always ready to work hard and lead by example. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to coach her for all four years.”

“I prefer track over cross country, weirdly, since track is literally just running in circles,” Antonino said. “But I feel a lot more motivated in track, probably because I like running shorter distances better, and track meets are awesome.”

Antonino’s success will not end in twelfth grade. She has hopes of joining the track team in college, and would consider playing club soccer while in college as well.

“I definitely plan on running in college, I would love to be on a track team. I have the opportunity to run with the UCSC team if I decide to go there,” Antonino said.

Photo Credit Eli Cushnir. Emily Antonino grasping the baton on the 4 x 400.
Photo Credit Eli Cushnir.
Emily Antonino grasping the baton on the 4 x 400.