Women of Troy- two truths and a lie


By Lexi Shaffer, Morgan Schmitt-Morris, And Natalie Trout


Take a look into the minds and views of these three rising athletes. See how these freshman plan to make their mark on their individual sports at West High this upcoming season.

Valerie Welch, freshman hurdler and sprinter on the West High track team, is definitely one to keep your eye out for. She has broken many records in previous years at Northwest Jr. High. So West Side Story sat down to ask her a few questions.

West Side Story: When did you start running track?

Valerie Welch: I ran track in 7th and 8th grade and now 9th grade. I also ran in the elementary school track meets in 5th and 6th grade.

WSS: What made you want to start running?

VW: Because they didn’t have soccer in junior high and hurdles have always been an interest.

WSS: What’s your favorite part about track?

VW: Hurdles…

WSS: How is high school track different than junior high track?

VW: The workouts are way more difficult and intense, there is more preparation before a race in a meet, more competition especially as a freshman competing against seniors.

WSS: Do you get nervous before competing? How do you handle that?

VW: Yes; by reminding myself that it’s just a 60 second race, if it’s a 400, or some other small amount of time that the race is supposed to last.

WSS: Do you have any pregame rituals?

VW: For a relay we get into a small huddle and say inspirational words then everyone kisses the baton except for the anchor who has to lick it. [Also] the baton isn’t allowed to touch the ground before, during, or after the race.

Emma Cooper, freshman on West High varsity soccer team, has already made her mark at her club.  Her team is planning their third regional trip to Ohio this summer.  She has also made the Iowa and Region II Olympic Developmental Program for years now.

West Side Story: How long have you been playing soccer?

Emma Cooper: [I’ve been playing] since I was three-years-old.  I started out doing Tiny Tots, then a half season of Kixx, before finally joining the Iowa City Alliance soccer club at U8 when I was seven.

WSS: What are some of your goals?

EC: To win State Cup this year for West High, and to finish the year with a 4.0 GPA, and to be successful in Regionals in Ohio for club this summer.

WSS: Do you plan on playing soccer in college?

EC: Only if it works out with where I want to go to school academically.

WSS: What is the best part of playing soccer?

EC: Spending time with all of your close friends and the travel.

WSS: Where is the furthest you have ever traveled for soccer?

EC: Northern Europe because I went to Iceland, Denmark, and Germany in 2012 and then Iceland again in 2013.

WSS: How does soccer here compare to soccer in Europe?

EC: The speed of play was faster in Europe than in America.  They were just cleaner…crisper touches and passes.

WSS: How are you preparing for this soccer season at West High?

EC: We have various morning runs at 6:30 every day and a two hour practice after school.

WSS: What’s a normal practice like?

EC: We work a lot on just creating opportunities and just molding as a team.

Simran Sarin recently made the varsity tennis team at West High.  She is one of the few freshman who accomplished this.  After taking a few years off she is proud of her quick start back.

West Side Story: How long have you been playing tennis?

Simran Sarin: Two years. I played when I was five or six but then I quit and I joined the swim team when I was nine or so.

WSS: What made you want to start again?

SS: Well I got really sick of swimming and I wanted a change.  I had never played any other sports so I decided to give tennis a try again.

WSS: Do you play singles or doubles?

SS: I play both. I alternate between fifth and sixth spot for single with Abby Jan’s and Abby Jan’s and I play doubles together.

WSS: What’s the best and worst part about high school tennis?

SS: Um the best part is probably practicing with my team. Everyone is so nice and practice is so fun because we are all supporting each other. Also a lot of the time we are messing around when we aren’t playing.  We just get along really well. I don’t know what the worst part is. I seriously love playing. I guess maybe morning practices weren’t as fun.

WSS: What’s it like to be a freshman on a varsity team?

SS: It’s definitely a new experience, especially since I’ve never been on a tennis team. We are all very competitive and are always cheering each other on. I feel like I’m really close to all the girls especially since I knew most of them before the tennis season started.  They are all really nice and are definitely making the season really fun for me.

Valerie, Emma, and Simran were asked to tell us two true facts about themselves and one made up fact. Can you guess which one is a lie? Here is two truths and a lie…


Which are lies?

Valerie’s fact #3

Emma’s fact #2

Simran’s fact #1