West Ranch cross-country and track and field coach Sara Soltani will not return to coach the Wildcats for the 2019-20 school year.
Soltani teaches physical education and said that due to low enrollment numbers at West Ranch High School, she has been transferred along with six other teachers to Saugus High School.
“Our enrollment is going down and I’m the youngest out of my P.E. department,” she said. “I’m not the only one, six teachers had to transfer, so that’s why I’m moving on and I won’t be coaching in this valley.”
Soltani led the West Ranch boys cross-country team to its fourth consecutive Foothill League Finals title and the girls team to a second-place finish. She helped the boys and girls team make program history in 2018 as both teams qualified for the state meet in the same year, finishing in third and fifth place at the CIF-Southern Section Finals.
At the CIF State Cross-Country Championships, the boys team finished as the runner-up while the girls came in ninth place. The boys team advanced to the Nike Cross Nationals for the first time ever and finished in eighth place in the event.
In the spring, Soltani switched gears to coaching the boys and girls track and field teams. She helped Wildcats girls thrower Natalie Ramirez to a Foothill League title in discus and boys sprinter Solomon Strader to Foothill League titles in the 400-meter and 200-meter race.
Ramirez went on to win the CIF-SS Division 1 Track and Field Finals title in the shot put, took home the shot put and discus crown at the CIF-SS Masters Meet then a pair of top-five finishes at the CIF State Track and Field Championships.
Strader picked up first-place finishes in the 400-meter at CIF-SS Track and Field Finals and at the CIF-SS Masters Meet. Qualifying for the CIF State Meet, Strader finished in third place and recently set a new personal record of 46.59 at the Brooks PR Invitational, placing second in the race to earn him the second-best time in California and 11th best in the nation this year.
“Thank you Coach Sara for your commitment to these amazing athletes,” said the West Ranch track and field team in a statement on their website. “While it was necessary for them to show up and compete to their best ability, none of this would have been possible without your guidance, dedication, and selfless devotion to these kids. It did not go unnoticed and was greatly appreciated. You will be missed! The program is losing an amazing advocate and force.”