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The Jag-Wire Recap

Greetings supporters, family members, athletes and fans of Southwestern College Track & Field team. In the next weeks, you’ll be updated to the amazing stories, lives and reports on members of the team and given updates to their performances.  I’d like to thank you in advance for your considerate donation to assist our team and invite you to come watch us compete, train and celebrate what is Jaguar track & field.

Regards,

Tonie Campbell
SWC T&F Head Coach

 

Pic 1 Volume:  14.7:
Chilly night ices record setting pace at Arnie Robinson

April 7, 2014

Arnie Robinson Invitational Track & Field meet (4/5/14)

San Diego,  CA – The Southwestern College Track & Field team record assault came to a halt at the Arnie Robinson Invitational on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon and into the night. While the team personally chose to use the week as a training week and allow some athletes to use the meet as a foray into off events, the team still was able to achieve several personal records and season leading marks.

Jose Prieto has struggled with a nagging hip ailment and has had difficulty running multiple events in one day. At the Arnie Robinson Invite however, he was able to complete the double sprint finishing the 400m Pic 2overall 5th in a time of 50.28 and the 200m overall 9th in a time of 22.41 which ranks him 4th going into the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) championships next week.

Middle distance runner Tanya Ortega continued to work on her speed and preparations for the ½ mile sprint by entering the 400m dash once again. Tanya had a great run and continued to improve as she finished overall 5th in a time of 1:05.94 moving her up on the conference best list to 9th.

Southwestern’s horizontal and vertical jumpers continue to impress all leading the charge to the Pic 3conference championship. In the women’s pole-vault, Korin Chapman continue to have a rock solid performance finishing 5th overall in a jump of 3.40m (11’ 1 ¾”). Tiziana Ruiz, the defending state champion from Mt. SAC, won the event in a mark of 3.85m (12’ 3 ¾”). What was important to note, it was the first time the top-two women in the state saw each other in competition and a prelude to the SOCAL and State meets.
In the men’s pole-vault, the chilly day quickly turned night and the event was held under the lights which gave the men the spotlight as the last of the running events wrapped up. Andy Monineau had the bigger night as he soared to a personal record 3.95m (12’ 11 ½”) just barely missing the 13 foot barrier. Andy finished 15th overall but more importantly moved up to 6th on the PCAC rankings list. Justin Smith finished 9th overall with a jump of 4.25m (13’ 11 ¼”). Justin holds his 4th place position on the PCAC list.

In the horizontal jumps, the long and triple jumps, Dominique Fuqua established a season best Long Jump mark of 6.54m to place 15th overall in the meet but moved to the 6th ranked position in the conference. While his best event the triple jump, “Dom” continues to be ranked in the top 10 in the state. TeammatePic 4 Sean Esteban also competing in his weaker event finished just ahead of Fuqua in 14th with a jump of 2 centimeters further, 6.56m and 5th on the conference rankings list.

Defending California State Champion in the High Jump Branden Greene also competed in the men’s long jump at the Arnie Robinson Invite. Branden finished in a season best 6.92m and moved to the 2nd ranked conference best for the event. Branden’s jump finished him 6th overall for the competition on the day.

The horizontal jumping Lady Jag’s also competed well on the cold night. Maria de Jesus Garcia, just coming from a season best 100m hurdles race (15.93) used the event to ready herself for the SOCAL Multi Championship to be held the following week at Mt. Sac. Maria jumped a respectable distance of 4.93m and finished 6th overall for the women. However the biggest surprise was Brandi Sanchez’s jump in the women’s triple-jump. Brandi just learning the triple-jump event, Pic 5had previously tried on two other occasions to get her step down but failed to make the pit. But on this cool evening with fading light, got her steps right and sailed into the pit in 9.44m (30’ 11 ¾”) and finished 9th overall moving her to the number 8th ranked position in the PCAC.

Throwers Karenina Alvarez threw a personal best of 10.08m and 6th overall in the women’s shot-put. Her mark raised her standings in the PCAC rankings to 5th. Teammate Grace Ward was the Arnie Robinson Invite champion with a throw of 11.97m and later threw a personal record in the Javelin of 29.61m (97’ 1 ¾”).

The men’s distance contingents of George Martinez, Carlos Sibaja, Erick Padilla and Jonathan Patron took advantage of the cool nights. While the sprinters ran for cover and sought warmth, the distance runners relished the cooler temperatures. Fast times were available for the taking and the four men of Southwestern College took full advantage of it. In the 1500m, all three men set season best and personal records for the metric mile. George Martinez finished 5th overall in a time of 4:03.00 and moved up in the conference ranking to 4th. Carlos Sibaja finished 10th in a time of 4:06.41 and positioned himself to the 6th position in the conference while Erick Padilla finished overall 29th in a star studded field of runners but set a personal record of 4:55.49. Finally, in the last race of the night, Jonathan Patron placed overall 17th in the 5000m in a personal best of 16:22.84 and moved up to the 15th position.

 Pic 6

 

NEXT WEEK...

56th Annual Mt. Sac Relays
(Community College Division)
@ MTSAC Hilmer Stadium

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Events start at 9:00 am

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 1 Volume 14.6:
"Wowzers!" Five marks fall and one mighty leap into the record books

April 1, 2014

36th Aztec Invitational Track & Field meet (3/27-29/14)

San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA – The assault on the Southwestern College Track and Field record book has been fast and furious this season. To date, nine school records have fallen. The record breaking pace of at least one record to fall in each meet surely is a dream season in the making and one for future teams to read about and aspire to. But could it continue? It seems, no one has asked the very talented Southwestern College Men’s and Women’s Team that very question as five records lay in waste on the fabled San Diego State University Aztec Invitational battle field.

Day One - Thursday, Freshman Maria de Jesus Garcia began her second ever women’s heptathlon. Maria having broken the eight-year old record on her first attempt a month ago has continued to improve in eachPic 2 individual event. A recent re-calculation of her potential score estimated that Maria’s score of 3507 points left more than three hundred points on the table. Armed with this information, a goal of 3800 points was the objective for this meet.

The first event of the day, Maria’s specialty the 100m hurdles, would certainly set the pace for the remainder of the meet. A noon start and eleven competitors from colleges such as USC, SDSU, Idaho, CSUSM, Concordia and individuals from Jamaica lined up to brave the howling winds and cold conditions of the first day.

Maria’s first heat run started well but near the middle of the race disaster struck as she smashed the sixth hurdle and was unable to regain her leading momentum. She finished in a disappointing 16.72 seconds far off her personal best of the season.

The second and third event for the day followed suit. Maria’s High Jump of 1.40m ended also on a down mark from previous marks as Maria revealed she had sustained a slight groin strain in the hurdles. The Pic 3Shot Put followed with a modest effort of 8.55m. By the conclusion of the third event, the damage was done. She was off her record pace and a great effort in the 200m sprint would be needed to salvage the day. That’s exactly what Maria delivered. Sprinting 28.58 seconds and her best 200m sprint of the year, Maria brought her score back to striking distance of the record. At the end of the day, Maria was 65 points off pace but within range if the second day’s results lived up to her potential.

Day Two – Maria’s groin ached and was tight but she decided to soldier on and give her best. At this point, a record was not the consideration but to finish and prepare herself for the upcoming SOCAL Championship and an attempt to qualify for the California State Championship in the Hept. The Long Jump, one of her best events was up first but this surely would be the test of that nagging groin. Each athlete was given three attempts and making the best of each and everyPic 4 jump was going to be the key for success. On her first attempt, she marked a fair jump but way off the pace of her best and previous Hept mark. Her second attempt was better but she still cut her landing and lost valuable distance. A consultation with her coaches and a correction or two and she was sent for her last attempt. Maria put plan to action and sailed a season best 4.95m and just like that turned a 65 point deficit into a 35 point lead on her record chase.

Maria equaled her Javelin toss from the previous Heptathlon at Cuyamaca College and preserved her lead on the record. Now armed with this information, she realized the record was hers is she equaled her time in the 800m. However, her groin increasingly was getting worse and not knowing if she could survive the two lap race was a concern. In the end, her leg did hold up Pic 5and she bettered her previous half mile mark by nearly two seconds. When the final score was tallied, Maria score bettered her own school record by 65 points. Final score, 3572 points and moving her to the 7th best score in the state.

Friday Events – Both hampered by foot injuries, Team Captain Paula Aleman and Assistant Team Captain Korin didn’t let that stop them as they continued their amazing seasons. Paula lined up against athletes from SDSU, BYU, Academy of Art, UC-Colorado Springs and Cal Poly Pomona. However she was un-phased by the university level athletes. In her mind, she belonged and used the opportunity to show potential recruiters that she is worthy of a full scholarship at any level. From the beginning, Paula showed Pic 6confidence and poise as she navigated the hurdles. The wind continued to howl especially on the back straight and into the final curve. Paula was perfect to plan through six of ten barriers. Hurdles seven and eight however didn’t co-operate as her wrong leg came up on these hurdles and robbed her of all momentum and timing. Paula, like the true champion she is, battled back and finished third shaving off .03 seconds of her own school record and beating many fine and well trained athletes in the process.

 Korin started the day unsure of her ability to jump. Her ankle showing the purple, blood pooled and swollen area from the previous week’s injury was still weak and unstable. A good tape job, some warm-up runs and a whole lot of confidence, got Korin off to a great start. It was an awesome field assembled again with several university athletes all vying for top spots. At the end, Korin battled through the pain and discomfort and set a new personal record and school record with a jump of 3.60m (11’ 9 ¾”) and finished overall 4th behind athletes from USC, SDSU and BYU.

New-comer Grace Ward patiently waited the day for her chance to show the SWC coaching staff what she could do. For the coaches, it was a well waited for surprise as Grace lived up to all the hype and rumors.Pic 7 On her first throw in the Shot Put, Grace easily eclipsed the school record recently set just weeks ago by team mate Karenina Alvarez. Grace’s throw of 12.55m (41’ 2 ½”) however not her personal best, was a school record and wonderful start to the season.

Saturday Events – Based on the previous week’s results, two athletes were given special invitations to compete against the Top-Class fields assembled for Saturday’s Invitational program. Branden Greene and Sean Esteban would compete in the Men’s High Jump and Men’s Triple Jump respectively. Both athletes were kept at home on Friday and not allowed by SWC coaches to travel and support the team in order for them to rest and prepare for the epic battles they would wage or be thrust into on Saturday. The calculation worked for both but for Branden even more.

Sean competed well but struggle early due to the swirling winds and stiff breeze in the athlete’s face for the jumping events. The first three rounds saw several athletes failing to make the pit due to the conditions. Sean, with fouls on his first two attempts came down to only one last effort to qualify for final three championship jump attempts or what is termed “three to get three”. Dialing back the speed and Pic 8increasing the power, Sean sailed into the pit, fair, for a mark that earned him a spot in the final rounds and three more attempts. In the end, only eight men had fair jumps, Sean’s effort of 14.11m earned him 4th place overall topping great athletes from great schools but was shy of his school record and the magical 50’ barrier that still eludes him.

The seven foot barrier is the mythical mark that all high-jumpers chase. There are only a few men in all of earth’s history that have lifted their bodies unassisted over a bar of this height. It took a revolution of technique, “Fosbury Flop” to consistently conquer the barrier 47 years ago. Today, colleges and universities use this mark as the standard in deciding to award scholarships to athletes at the highest level. Branden Greene has been chasing the elusive mark for his entire athlete career/life. The barrier has haunted him time and time again.Pic 9 He’s seen himself over it but only to brush the bar and fail to clear all parts of him. However, on Saturday in front of a large crowd of on-lookers, fate, the stars and destiny aligned. Branden on his second attempt at 7’ ½” sailed over the bar that all others but one athlete could not do. Branden becomes the first athlete in Southwestern history to clear the 7-foot barrier and joins an exclusive club. Now, can he jump higher that his mental barrier has been over-come? In my humble opinion, the sky is the limit for this young man.

 

 Pic 10
NEXT WEEK...
                                       Arnie Robinson Invitational
                                           @ Mesa College

Friday - April 5, 2014
                           Events start at Noon

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 1 Volume 14.5:
Three take bites out of record book at PLNU Invite

March 24, 2014

Point Loma Nazareen University - Ross & Sharon Irwin Invite (3/22/2014)

Point Loma, CA – This season the women’s team have highlighted the results blog with achievements of a stellar season to this point. The men however have patiently waited to have their moment in the light. This weekend at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Invitational track and field meet at Point Loma Nazareen University, all systems were go and the men’s team approached full strength. At the conclusion to the meet, three records lay in the rumble and the 2014 season record book assault continued.

Justin Smith in only his second year in the event continued to improve this past weekend. Big things were surely to come as he had one of the best training weeks of his career, smashing the school record height in the pole vault at practice on several attempts. Arriving to the meet armed with confidence and a warrior’s determination, Justin quietly sat waiting his turn as the men would begin upon the conclusion of the woman’s vault. Team mate Andy Monineau also had a great training week and was poised for a big result.

However, the men would have to wait and support teammate Korin Chapman, the woman’s team record holder, as she struggled at first then found her wings. Korin, entering into the competition well after the opening heights, was given a warm-up session before entering the competition for her first jump. However, a miss step and awkward landing in the pit instantly changed the dynamics of the day. As Korin lay in the pit for a long moment, it was obvious that something terrible had transpired. Upon landing, her ankle had dislocated and quickly snapped back. However the damage was done. At least that was the thought. The trainers at the meet quickly evaluated the injury and concurred the strained tendons. However, Korin with the encouragement of the coaching staff decided to tape the ankle, take one, perhaps two jumps then call it a day. The thought was, “get back on the horse” just to prove to herself that her season wasn’t over. However, through the pain and discomfort, Korin battled all the way to a 1st place finish for the day and a season best of 3.50m or 11’ 5 ¾”.

Inspired by the heroic efforts of Chapman, Justin and Andy went to work. Andy, feeding off the great competition or perhaps the inspirational ordeal just witnessed, Andy soared to a season best and personal record of 12’ 9 ¼” and ranking him 3rd ever on the SWC all-time list. Justin Smith, however, sailed over bar after bar until finishing above his season goal of 13’ and finally finishing overall third in the competition and surpassing his seasonal goal by over a foot. Justin sets the new school record at 14’ 3 1/4" or 4.35m beating the old school record of 4.03m set by Alex Oleta in 2009.

Branden Greene continued his personal assault on the SWC record book. While Branden is no stranger toPic 2 the records, his latest addition to the high jump annals of 6’ 11” is impressive but not as impressive as it will be in only a mere few weeks as he figures out that last bit of timing to clear the mythical 7’ barrier. In this latest effort, it came as a shock to all as Branden voiced his concerns about the facility and how its narrow jumping surface may not be suitable for a big jump. Branden had been sidelined for two weeks with a bizarre injury scare sustained at the CSULA Invite during warm-up runs. It was only Tuesday that he was able to test the leg and take a few jumps at a greatly reduced height. However, all was forgotten once the competition began. From the beginning, Branden out classed the field. Two individuals gave chase but in the end, the pressure and the lofty heights were too much for them. The bar was then raised to 7’ 1 ½” or 2.16m, two monster attempts were made with all of Branden’s 6’4” frame sailing over the bar except the slightest brush by his calf muscle. Surely 7’ jumps and higher are coming soon. For now, the new record stays at just below the magical number.

Pic 3While the vertical jumpers were lighting up the score board, the horizontal jumpers were making waves of their own at the track by the beach. Freshman Sean Esteban and Sophomore Dominique Fuqua started the day with average long jumps. This was in most minds, the appetizer to their main course which is the triple jump event. Neither disappointed however at the end of the day, it was Dominique with the biggest jump however a foul so it wouldn’t count. Sean hopped, stepped and leaped to a mighty effort of 48’ 2 ½” and the second farthest TJ in SOCAL. Sean eclipsed the school record of 47’ 5 ¾”set last year by Geno Simmons now a scholar athlete at the Art Academy.

In other news on the track, Jose Prieto took his first steps as a Southwestern Jaguar on Saturday and opened up in fine form. Jose, star athlete from Palo Verde High School in Blythe California, paced the 1-lap race in a shade under 50 seconds finishing overall third for the day of all competitors and second fastest college athlete. His time of 49.69 was just the beginning of what this young man can do.

Antony Ardis, another Cal Prep stand-out was given another week to show fitness and run in his weaker event of the 400m. In the end, Antony out classed the field of college runners finishing overall second only to his part-time training partner and pro athlete Kenyon Morris who had the fastest time for the day of 49.34. Antony’s time of 49.40 was even more impressive having run the time by himself in a second heat with no competition. However, Antony was not done for the day. In the 200m, he blazed a 21.90 for the half lap race and his finishing time ranking him in the SOCAL top 10.

In other events, the team used the meet as a training week. Newly imposed rules about post season competition require athletes to participate in events at least once prior to the conference championships. Several athletes therefore took advantage of the weekend to do off events and post times or work on different phases of their race. Carlos Sibaja was one such athlete that used the week to work on different Pic 4critical sections of his specialty race the 5000m. Carlos entering the 800m for speed work, cruised to a heat victory in a time of 2:04.20 the later used the 1500m as an additional training run and again winning his heat and running 14:14.91. Teammate George Martinez, placed 13th overall in 1500m with a time of 4:04.07 and later came back in the 5000m placing 11th overall in a time of 15:43.79. Additionally, Mickey Hendricks continued his seasonal improvements with a heat winning 16.66 in the 110m hurdles which was good enough for 5th overall. Mickey continued the progress in 400m hurdles in a time of 57.18 and finished overall 5th.

 

On the women’s side, all was not quiet. Freshman Keeshawna Jackson continues to impress the coaches with her multi-talents. Keeshawna sprinted to a 1st in heat – 400m in the time of 1:02. 55 and continued toPic 5 post respectable marks in the high jump, finishing 5th overall with a jump of 1.45m

Maria Garcia continued to add additional events to her resume. Maria bounded 10.31m or 33’ 9 ¾” In her first attempts of the year in the Triple Jump. She later honed her skills in the sprints and hurdles running 16.03 for the 100m hurdles finishing overall 15th and pulling double duty in both relays.
Overall, the Southwestern Jaguars did well. Their team finishes of 5th for the men and 11th for the women out of more than 20 colleges, universities and clubs was respectable and shows great promise for the season to come.

 

 

 NEXT WEEK...Pic 6

 SDSU Aztec Invitational
@ San Diego State

March 27, 2014 - Hep (noon start)
March 28, 2014
Events start at 9:00 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vol 14.3 Pic 1Volume 14.3
Mighty Maria de Jesus reigns supreme

March 10, 2014

Cuyamaca College - PCAC Hep/Dep Championship (3/5-6/2014)

Cuyamaca, CA – Eight woman and three men lined up to compete in the first scoring opportunity for conference team points at the PCAC Heptathlon/Decathlon Championship at Cuyamaca College. Freshman Maria de Jesus Garcia would be the only athlete male or female that would carry the banner for the Southwestern College Jags in the two day physical contest.
The women’s heptathlon consists of seven events contested over two days. Day one; 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200m sprint. Day two; long jump, javelin, 800m run.

Day One - Maria entered the first event with high expectations for herself but neither she nor her coach had nearly zero knowledge of the skill set of her competitors. The plan was simply, “Do you best, and let’s see how it all shakes out at the end”. In the first event, the competitors were spread out with a lane Vol 14.3 Pic 2between them. This made for three heats of athletes. Maria was scheduled in heat one lane two. From the gun, Maria exploded from the blocks and never looked back finishing 1st in the first event of the day with a time of 16.32 seconds and 676 points. Event two was the high jump. This event was perhaps Maria’s weakest event. The plan was to start at a low height, get early points then move up from there. Armed with this plan, Maria carried it out to the letter. Starting out with using the Fosbury Flop she easily cleared three bars. It was only when her competitors began to scissor kick that Maria changed tactics and began competing using her preferred method. In the end, Maria jumped a personal record of 1.42m and finished 2nd in the event.

Vol 14.3 Pic 3Event three, the shot put, played out as planned. Maria simply needed to throw consistently and see where the other athlete’s balls would fall. To Maria and her coach’s surprise, Maria’s toss of 8.70m bettered the field and she entered the final event of the day with two wins and nearly a two hundred point lead on the field.

In the final event of the day the field was divided into the three heats once more. Maria again drew the first heat and once more, was the class of the field winning easily in a time of 28.77 seconds and 571 points. Her first day total of 2226 points was on pace for a school new record and she left the event with a nearly three hundred point lead on the field.

Day Two – 10:00am start, Maria and the other seven competitors arrived for their first event the long jump. Feeling the soreness of four events one day earlier, the woman realized that anything could happen on this the second and final day. As with all events, each athlete is given three attempts. Maria scored on all three however each jump was behind the board leaving valuable distance and points on the field. However, her jump of 4.62 meters added to her total 459 points however, it was only the second best jump of all the competitors for the day.

The sixth event, the javelin throw, started off very hopeful. With the championship all but won, Maria only need to throw her personal best and go into the final event with a comfortable lead on the school record. Unfortunately her third place toss of 21.74 meters only added 322 points to her total. Going into the final event, she would have to run sub 2:50.0 to beat the school record. The good news was that in order to lose the championship, the second place competitor would have to run a nearly world class time in the 800m to score enough points to surpass Maria or Maria would have to fail to finish the race.
Vol 14.3 Pic 4
As Maria lined up, there was only one thing on her mind; school record and running sub 2:50. Cheered on by her team mates that came to support her, Maria surprised all by taking the lead and holding it for the majority of the race. It was only the last two hundred meters that a lone athlete came up to challenge and barely beat Maria at the finish. The wait for the final results was excruciating. Her win was assured but whether she broke the school record was still in doubt. After ten minutes, the final events were read. Maria had indeed won the PCAC Heptathlon and scored 3507 points total. Her 800m time of 2:46.48 added to her total 501 points, smashing the school record by 107 points.

Maria de Jesus Garcia’s score of 3507 ranks her currently fifth in the state and also qualifies her for a spot in the 2014 SOCAL Heptathlon Championship to be held on April 8-9, 2014 at Mt. Sac. Congratulations Maria!

 

Vol 14.3 Pic 5NEXT WEEK...

 

Cal State LA Invitational
@ CSULA

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Events start at 9:00 am

 

 

 

 

vol 14.2 Pic 1Vol 14.2:
Titan storms away Jags hopes

March 4, 2014

Cerritos College - Cerritos Invitational (3/1/14)

Cerritos, CA – The storm of the season “Titan” lived up to its name as it blanked the state of California from San Francisco to San Diego. Torrential rain fell for three consecutive days in the drought ridden state. While the rain was welcomed by some, it made outdoor activities such as the annual Cerritos Invitational Track meet a sloppy mess.
Other meets scheduled on the same day (Saturday) throughout the state were cancelled but the Cerritos staff of coaches, volunteers and officials made a game time decision to continue with the meet and delay where needed to allow a passing storm cell to blow by.

The Jags made the journey and competed well against the other six junior college teams who also ventured out into the weather. Even though the team found the conditions less than favorable, many impressive marks were still accomplished. Freshman Antony Ardis (La Costa Canyon HS) opened his season with a fine time of 10.96 in the 100m. In the men’s 400m, Freshman James Woods (Olympian HS) and teammate Louis “Jawon” Wilkerson braved the elements for the one lap race and finished respectively 2nd and 4th for the meet. Samantha Bojoquez placed 4th in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:28.11. Branden Greene splashed his way to a winning long jump of 6.92m.

The two highlights of the day came from sophomores Karenina Alvarez and team Captain Paula Aleman. Karenina broke the school record in the women’s shot put heaving the 12lb metal ball 9.99m. But the most impressive mark of the day and unfortunately the last event contested before the meet was halted due to reported lighting in the area came from Paula Aleman in the 400m hurdles. Paula once again shook off the conditions and turned in another fine performance. Her time of 1:04.82 was a clear three seconds faster than the next placing athlete and smashed the old school record.

 

Vol 14.2 Pic 2

NEXT WEEK...

 

PCAC Hep/Dep Championship
@ Cuyamca College

Saturday, March 4-5, 2014

Events start at 10:00 am

 

 

 

 

Pic 1Volume 14.1:
Lady Jags take bite out of record

February 27, 2014

PomonaPitzer College - All Comers Meet (2/15/2014)
Claremont, CA – The 2014 Southwestern College track and field team season got off to a roaring start. In the first meet of the year, a small team ventured the two hour’s drive north to Los Angeles’s Inland Empire and the Claremont Colleges. Being an early season meet and the team not being at full strength due to many athletes not cleared for competition yet and others not quite physically ready to compete, expectations were low.

Led by a handful of returning athletes, the team lined up against private schools such as Claremont McKenna, La Vern, Santa Barbara City College, West Los Angeles College, Cal State Los Angeles, a small group of professional and international athletes and the meet hosting school Pomona-Pitzer College. As in every beginning season, the plans to allow SWC’s athletes to run in specialty events especially those that required a great deal of intensity were shelved for a later meet to minimize chances of injury. As instructed by the coaching staff, Southwestern College athletes at this competition main task was to shake off the “cobwebs” acquired from a long summer off and the laborious fall training. However, the memo must not have been reached by the woman’s 4 x 400m team.

Newly named “Lady Jags” team Captain and SWC 400m hurdle record holder Paula Aleman gathered her team of freshman sprinters, Samantha Bojoquez, Sirena Diaz and Maria de la Garcia and put plan to track. While a crowd of nearly 500 participants and fans began to gather their belongings, pack up and leave, the gun to one of the final events began without much fanfare or expectation. Samantha, normally a middle-distance runner was chosen to start the race. Sam, only having a few days practice using starting blocks, burst out the apparatus once the gun signaled the start of the race like a seasoned professional.

The Lady Jags held their own that first lap. Samantha turned in a respectable relay leg even though she was clearly running against other runners with sprint training. At the hand-off to the second runner Sirena Diaz (aka Little Mermaid) the team had slipped to sixth position. Sirena maintained the team’s position for the next four hundred meters. At the hand-off to Maria de la Garcia the lead team had opened a commanding lead on the field of more than fifty meters and increasing. Maria did a masterful job and with an aggressive run moved the Lady Jags into fifth position with one runner to go. Unfortunately, the lead was now nearly seventy meters ahead. Paula Aleman took the baton and headed out fast, way too fast.

All packing stopped, all spectators turned to watch the race as they began to realize they would see a colossus feat or colossal failure. Paula gobbled up the three runners ahead of her in the first two hundred meters and set her sights on one more. At the three hundred meter mark with one hundred meters to go, what many thought to be impossible became possible Paula reached the anchor leg runner of the Claremont McKenna colleges whose team had enjoyed the lead from start and blew past her without a second thought to the magnitude of what she was about to accomplish. As Paula crossed the finish-line, the SWC coaching staff looked at the time with disbelief as they were sure they had just seen a school record fall. In fact, the relay team of Bojoquez, Diaz, de la Garcia and Aleman crushed the old school record by nearly two seconds. Their finish time and new record now stands as 4:13.12s.

Pic 2Other highlights of the meet were the debut of Korin Chapman, last year’s State Championship finalist in the pole vault with a respectable opening season jump of 10 feet. Additionally, sophomore Justin Smith started off with a strong 12 foot jump and was joined by freshman Andres Monineau with a season starting 10’ 11 ¾” jump both in the vault as well. Last year’s men’s state High-Jump champion Branden Greene used the meet as training and easily cleared 6’6” using only a four-step approach. Big things are expected from all the jump squad this year.

On the distance side, returner Carlos Ponce (Charlie) ran a strong 9:00.47s for 3k against a tough field. Freshman George Martinez finished in a respectable 9:17.73s midway in the pack of runners.

On the field side, returner Karenina Alvarez and freshman Maria de le Garcia tossed the javelin 71’5” and 72’4” respectively. Maria, a budding Heptathlon star used the meet as practice for her seven contest eventPic 3 in a week’s time. She will be competing in her first Heptathlon on March 4/5th at Cuyamaca in the first conference championship of the year. Check schedule for start times.

Finally, the team is excited to having its top-class group of coaches back. Coach Tonie Campbell enters his twelfth season leading the Southwestern College Track and Field teams he will handle the administration side of the business and work with the hurdlers and whatever group needs and additional eye or stop watch. Sprint coach Olivia Juarez and volunteer sprint coach Oliver Brown will be joined by Coach Adam Henderson father of 4 x 400m Relay Olympic Gold Medalist Monique Henderson and formerly Lincoln High Head Coach. Adam will share the duties of short sprints, long sprints and relays. Kuba Wasowski and Sandy Gao (Chinese pole-vault record holder) will continue to lead the jumps and pole-vault. The distances continue to be in good hands with Coach Dr. Duro Agbede and Lynette Zeckua cranking out the miles for this group. New comer, Humboldt University thrower, Steven Lemessurier, will volunteer coach in the javelin and assistance from several Olympic athletes residing at the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Center, (our home track) will lend their expertise when asked or available.

It’s going to be an exciting season!

 

Pic 4
NEXT WEEK...

Cerritos Invitational
@ Cerritos College

Saturday - March 1, 2014

Events start at 9:00 am

 

 

 

 

Last updated: 4/10/2014 3:52:05 PM