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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 24, 2015
PomonaPitzer College - All-Comers (2/21/15)
Claremont, CA – Déjà vu. Last year the opening statement of the Jag-Wire (Southwestern’s Track & Field team’s news feed) read like this; “The 2014 Southwestern College track and field team season got off to a roaring start….” This year, 2015, the song remains the same as the team took the two hour drive north to Los Angeles’s Inland Empire and the Claremont Colleges. This team, being one of the most talented teams ever assembled for the college, quickly showed their teeth as two SWC school records fell within the first forty-minutes of the competition’s start and another record fell before the clock chimed its first hour. In all, three official school records fell to the 2015 team and a forth unofficial school record (the Mile run) were laid to dust.
The 2015 team squared off against small private schools such as, Claremont McKenna, Pomona Pitzer, La Vern, Vanguard, Biola, Chapman, Concordia, Redlands to name a few and state schools such as Cal Poly Pomona, UC Irvine and a handful of private and professional athletes. The SWC coaching staff led by 13-year Head Coach Tonie Campbell continued with the winning strategy of holding back athletes in their specialty events for the first meet and running “off” distances in most cases to prepare for later races in the season and try new events for later point considerations at the conference championships to be held in late April. Although this strategy is designed to minimize risk of injury, the team did suffer two key player injuries. Freshman hurdlers Jose Martinez and Larissa Johnson both succumbed to hamstring injuries while negotiating the barriers and will be sidelined for a short time until healed.
Returning from a phenomenal 2014 track season and fall x-country season, sophomore distance sensation, George Martinez broke the four year-old 3,000m run record set by Leonard Banales. George ran a strategic race and then used his powerful kick to stay with the seasoned university runners to the finish sixth in a time of 8:43.03 and shaving just shy of eight seconds off the record.
In the woman’s 3,000m run held minutes after the conclusion of the exciting men’s race, freshman Aminat Olowora, the new XC Champion and California State XC Record holder, showed that she is no fluke as she dominated all competitors at the meet and won by nearly a second over the closest competitor. Her time of 9:56.59 eclipsed the old school record set by Alyin Meija by nearly thirty seconds! Aminat later went on to run the second fastest time of the day in the women’s mile run in a blistering time of 5:01.00. Surely if SWC record books had the mile as one of its events, Aminat’s time would have been an all-time best for the college. The coaching staff truly believes, this young lady has yet to show all of her talents and she is likely to single-handedly rewrite the record books in multiple events.
In the sprints, the first event, the men’s and woman’s 4 x 100m relay, the 2015 versions of the four person sprint squad were still in flux. The coaches entered two teams for each gender to give eight sprint/jump/hurdlers the opportunity to showcase their abilities. Unfortunately in both men’s and women’s relays only one team was able to answer the bell due to the hurdle injuries. However, both teams finished ahead of several colleges. The men finished in 4th while the women finished in 2nd and eclipsed the Southwestern school record with a time of 49.26.
The 400m sprint has been used by this staff as a barometer to judge the fitness level of its sprinter for the season. In the women’s race Charrion Perkins won her heat in a time of 1:02.31 closely followed by
teammate Kassidy Harper with a time of 1:03.95. The two ladies placed themselves as #4 and #8 All-Time for the quarter mile race.
In the hurdle events, Maria Garcia topped freshman Jeyla Spencer as the top hurdler for the Lady-Jags for the day. Spencer finished ahead of her teammates Katrina Duckett, Destinee Thayer and Larissa Johnson in the short hurdles second heat and equaled the feat in the 400m low hurdles winning her heat with a time of 1:08.42 which ranks her #5 on the All-Time list.
In the jumps, Kayla Nunez took flight in the women’s pole-vault event. However, Kayla struggled with pole
selection early and faltered at an early height. However, big things are expected from this young lady as her power and speed were the result of the selected pole failing her as she has quickly outgrown its ability. Next meet, she will be on a larger pole that is matched with her speed and power so better results should be garnished. In the long jump, newly named Team Captain and Heptathlete Maria Garcia soared to a fifth place jump of 15’ 7” while freshman Jeyla Spencer finished just behind Mary with a leap of 15’ 4”.
One of the surprise finishes of the day came from Katrina Duckett in the women’s high jump. In just her first week and with only two days of training with Coach and nationally ranked triple-jumper April Sinkler, Katrina leaped 4’9” and finished squarely in the middle of the pack. Katrina’s jumping attracted the attention of Coach Cris Gonzales of La Vern which sought out Coach Tonie Campbell to get her information. Things are looking up for this talented young lady.
In the sprints, freshman speedster Aqel Carson entered the 100m. Running with only one other competitor, cruised to a finish of 11.28. In the 200m race, Aqel once again finished top of his heat with a time of 22.96. Not a bad finish but a lot of work to do if he is going to place himself on the All-Time list. Additional athletes in the sprints were freshman Jesus Aguilar, Alex Wiley and Husani Davis rounding out the field.
In the 400m, middle distance runner Bryan Alvarado got in some sprint work entering the one-lapper race. Bryan’s heat winning time of 52.50 was respectable however the fastest quarter mile of the day belonged to Jesus Aguilar with a time of 51.24.
In the distances, Diondre Braithwaite opened his season running the 1,000m. Diondre finished 4th in his heat with a time of 2:43.19. Newly named 2015 Team Captain Carlos “Charlie” Ponce outpaced the field in the men’s mile run winning his heat in a time 4:30.77. Teammates Alejandro Rosario finished 2nd, Jonathan Patron finished 6th and Edwardo Pallares finished 10th.
In the 3,000m run as mentioned earlier, George Martinez set the new school record in the event. In the second heat however, Bryan Alvarado caught the record fever and with teammate Alejandro Rosario finished 1st and 2nd in their heat. Bryan’s time of 9:02.96 placed in #4th All-Time and earned Alejandro the #6 spot.
In the jumping events on the men’s side, Alex Wiley easily won his heat against many fine collegiate jumpers leaping to an impressive opening hop of 21’ 3”. Teammate Deon Braithwaite, competing in his first ever track and field completion finished in a respectable 7th position with a leap of 16’ 10”.
The final event of the day concluded once more with the relays. In the 4 x 400m relay, competing in the top section, the quartet of Husani Davis, Diondre Braithwaite, Bryan Alvarado and Jesus Aguilar, fought gallantly and finished 5th with a time of 3:30.44 which ranks as eight fastest time in school history. On the women’s side, a mere fifteen minutes after her amazing mile run, Aminat Olowora took the baton and lead off the race delivering a sub-sixty second first leg. The team of Aminat Olowora, Stephanie Legault, Kassidy Harper and Daeniesha Burrell struggled with holding their lead, giving meters on the field then gaining back yardage. In the end, the women finished fifth in a very competitive race in a time of 4:13.49 ranking this first effort third on the Southwestern College All-Time list.
@ Cerritos College
Saturday - February 28, 2015
Events start at 9:00 am