The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

The Student News Site of University Prep

The Puma Press

Running Through Records

Maddie Takamiya and Max Seitz dominate the triple jump and 200-meter dash
Photo: Max Cook
Seniors Maddie Takamiya and Max Seitz are the only track and field athletes to compete at state in the last two years.

Seniors Maddie Takamiya and Max Seitz are rewriting UPrep’s track and field record book. They began their tear last season at state. Now they have each broken their own records multiple times.

“They’re kind of this dynamic duo that keeps on breaking these barriers and surprising everyone,” track coach Kayla Robertson said.

Takamiya holds the school record for the triple jump. Since breaking it last season in her junior year, Takamiya has continued to improve her own record to a distance of 35’ 1/2” achieved April 20. The record she originally broke was from 1991. 

Takamiya realized she broke UPrep’s triple jump record for the third time seconds after leaving the sand pit. 

“I just drove my knee up as far as I could extend that leg and then just threw my feet up and held it for as long as I could,” Takamiya said. “I landed and it felt good. And then I ran back over to check to see them measure it, and they said it was 35 feet 6 inches. I think I screamed, and then I ran over to Coach Kayla and Max.”

Seitz holds the UPrep record for the 200-meter sprint, the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles. The 110-meter hurdles record was one of the school’s oldest, from 1986. He broke it with a time of 15.74 seconds. Now he runs it in 15.21 seconds.

Seitz realized he broke UPrep’s 200m record as he crossed his fingers and hoped that his unofficial time would be confirmed.

“I never get excited with a time until I see it on paper because sometimes it changes,” Seitz said. “You have to wait like 20 minutes until it becomes official. I think I was in the stands when my coach showed me, and I was like, ‘Okay, like this is real, damn.’

Both names are now hanging on UPrep’s record wall. To Takamiya, having a track and field record means that her legacy lives on.

“I think that it’s a part of making my legacy on the school. I’m hoping that one day people will be looking up at the wall and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, Maddie Takamiya. She was a really good triple jumper,’” Takamiya said.

To Seitz, having a track and field record rewards the hours of work necessary to succeed in a sport he started his sophomore year.

“It means that I’ve pushed myself more than I thought I could,” Seitz said. “I didn’t even think of a school record as something that’s feasible.” 

Robertson has seen Seitz develop over two years as he transformed from an ultimate frisbee player to a sprinter.

“Max is the kind of athlete that is like, ‘Hey, what else can I do?’”  Robertson said. “He started doing club track and did some indoor track meets, and his dedication to improving himself, but also finding this passion for something that he didn’t even know existed is really cool.”

Robertson has seen Takamiya develop over four years, going from a gymnast to a triple jumper. 

“She didn’t start triple jumping until 10th grade, and she just took to the triple jump really easily,” Robertson said. “Her ability to be competitive with herself and other competitors around is definitely a strength of hers.”

Takamiya and Seitz don’t just support the track and field team by breaking records, they act as teachers, leaders and examples for their teammates while also being track stars.

“Maddie and Max are our top scorers and school record holders, but that is just a small aspect of what they both mean to our program,” Robertson said. Their dedication radiates through the team, helping each athlete strive to be their best self and teammate. They are consistently highlighting the spirit of track and field through their kindness, hard work, perseverance through challenge, and humbleness.”

One of the main reasons that Takamiya and Seitz are able to benefit the track and field team so much is because their goals are team-centered. While they break records in individual events they each understand that their identity as captains and leaders must govern their priorities.

“Since Max and I have been going to state, we’ve been working on making the track team more competitive together,” Takamiya said. “We’re trying to drive the team together and motivate them to really push themselves and push their limits.  And I think he’s a really amazing co-captain and is really inspiring to work with.”

About the Contributor
Max Cook, Reporter
Max Cook is a reporter on the staff of the Puma Press. He is a sophomore and new to the staff this year. He loves to write about hard news topics and spark action as a result of his articles. His favorite part of journalism is participating as a part of the journalism community, collaborating with his peers and writing about serious and important issues. Outside of journalism he plays soccer for UPrep's varsity team and loves to cook.