Girls Track: Astor’s Last Track Season


Anisa Rachman, Reporter

As we near the end of the school year, track and other spring sports are coming to a close as well. Although it has been a strange season, unforgettable memories have been made as we say goodbye to the seniors and some of the coaches too.

Things are starting to pick up as we head into the championship part of the girls track season. Coach Jane Astor noted that this year there are great runners in both long distance and sprinting, making for an incredible season so far. Coach Teri Schultejans also agreed that this year’s season has been fantastic. They are seeing improvements everyday, Schultejans stating that, “Every meet we are performing better.”

With hard work and dedication, multiple girls this year made it to the Drake Relays. Bailey Olerich, a junior here at CCAHS, had the opportunity to run the 4×100 along with her fellow CCA track runners. 

We ran one of our best times there and I had never been more proud.  We have made so much progress and I can’t wait to see us keep going while we finish the rest of our season,” Olerich expressed excitedly.

Olerich has faced many challenges in track during her high school years. Being injured her freshman year and having to skip track sophomore year due to COVID-19, it made it hard for her to enjoy and participate in something she really enjoys. Now that she is back in the game, she is just happy she can partake in track again. 

Senior Cileigh Smiddy, another track runner who made it to the Drake Relays, ran the shuttle hurdle relay and also participated in the 4×100. Smiddy was happy to run in the Drake Relays in her last year of high school. She stated that, “we all did the best we could and had a great time and that’s what matters the most”. 

Saying goodbye to your high school years as well as all the people and after school activities is hard. 

“I will miss cheering for everyone and the excitement after getting 1st place and running to the best of my abilities and getting good results,” Smiddy articulated. “I will mostly miss this amazing team and coaches.”

Coach Schultejans believes that her favorite memory from coaching track was back in 2015 when the girls shuttle hurdle relay had won state. “I was pregnant with my second son, so that made it all the more special and exciting,” she recollected. 

Smiddy believes that what she enjoyed most was running with amazing people and supporting her teammates during the races. She always had a great time during track meets. 

While Olerich doesn’t have one specific favorite memory, the most memorable for her was going to Drake with her with her team and having a blast.

When asked about why she decided to coach girls track here at CCAHS, Astor explained that a student she had met many years ago thought she would be a good candidate. “Once upon a time, 31 years ago, I was running a lot and they needed a girls track coach. So some student looked at me and said ‘you’re the one who should be the coach’,” Coach Astor recalled. 

This year’s track season will sadly be the last for Astor as she retires. Track has been a big part of her life for the last 50 years, and of course, it is hard to let go of something that is so important to you. 

“Outside is always where I want to be on a beautiful spring day. Track has allowed me to be outside, exercising and having a great time with young adults. It makes the entire school year fly by,” Astor voiced. 

April 29th was the last home track meet that Astor would be coaching. With the help of some of her current track athletes as well as some from the past 30 years, they made it one of the most memorable meets for her. After calling Coach Astor to the field to give recognition for all the great things she has done for CCA, her athletes embraced her and gave her many flowers. Mrs. Maas, Librarian and a contributor to planning the heartwarming goodbye for Astor, believes the moment was something to remember.

 “Bittersweet was the best way to describe it. We were all happy to celebrate her and all the things she has done but sad that her time here was coming to an end.”

After 37 years here at CCA, Astor has made a large impact in many different areas. To honor her and what she has done for this school, it was announced during the last home track meet for the girls that the Creek Classic was to be renamed The Jane Astor Relays. 

“I am super honored and excited to have a meet called The Astor Relays. I think it has a great ring to it. When I first started coaching, at the end of season banquet, I asked the team what they thought we needed to be a better program. They told me an all weather track. We are so lucky and thankful to have not 1 all weather track in our district, but two. The community has made CCA one of the finest athletic facilities in the state. We are very fortunate.”

Maas expressed her gratitude for Astor: “She has coached thousands of young athletes, and you know, I think she has really made an impact one person at a time. My experience personally, when I was in high school, I ran cross country, and I ran with her in the morning during the summer. Just some of those conversations where we would talk about life, they were invaluable.”

Many other athletes of Astor’s also felt this way. At the end of the night during the home track meet, past girl and boy athletes  that she had coached came and ran a final cool down lap around the track with her. As many current and past runners of hers recalled, it was a night to remember and one that would stick with them.