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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.
SWC T&F Head Coach
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.
Other 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 event 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!
@ Cerritos College
Saturday - March 1, 2014
Events start at 9:00 am