March 25, 2013

TRACK & FIELD | Teams Travel to California for Two Outdoor Meets

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With eyes set on finishing the outdoor season with the Heps titles, members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams took their annual trip out west to California. There they had the opportunity to compete in their first two outdoor meets, train in the sunny southern California weather and enjoy time together as a team bonding with one another in preparation for their outdoor campaign.Men’s head coach Nathan Taylor said he was glad to have had good weather for high quality practice time with his team.“The trip was good,” he said. “We had good weather, [which allowed] us to get good practices everyday. I think that they made the most of the opportunity.”While in California, the Red had the opportunity to compete in both the Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State, as well as the Spring Break Invitational hosted by UC Irvine. Taylor noted that despite the fact that his team just started transitioning into the outdoor season, the performances he has seen from his athletes are good signs of what is to come.“I thought a number of the guys did really well,” he said. “When you have to contend with the weather, the wind and some of the new events integrated into the outdoor season, I thought those guys did really well.”Notable performances included junior Montez Blair breaking his own school outdoor record in the high jump by clearing 7’4.25” and sophomore Stephen Mozia breaking the school record in the discus with a throw of 179’6”.Women’s head coach Rich Bowman added that there are three very important things that his team tries to get out of the California meet.“Number one: We try to get good training in. Number two: We want to get good competition out of the trip. The third we try to get together and try to do is foster bonding within our team, and build that team camaraderie. They were all accomplished,” Bowman said.Notable women’s performances included junior Rachel Sorna setting a new all-time Ivy League record of 9:50.39 in the 3K steeplechase, as well as a win in the 4×400 relay by senior Libby O’Brien, junior Ryan Woolley, sophomore Katie Woodford and junior Ebolutalese Airewele with a time of 3:42.33. The Red trained and competed strongly during their entire trip, and also had the opportunity to enjoy great southern California dining. “The trip has become mainly track, and second, food,” Taylor said. “We had a traditional Mexican dinner. Some of our culinary pallets were expanded. We had a big prime rib dinner; we went to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. It was fun … a southern California food extravaganza.”Bowman spoke about how from his perspective, the most fun part of the trip was all of the training that he got to see out of his team. He also said that there were added benefits for his team during the trip to enjoy California.“From a coach’s standpoint, the training part of it is the fun aspect,” he said. “They were out at beaches together [and] had some alumni functions. I thought that they did a lot of things together and got to know each other well.”According to Bowman, the entire season is a process, he said.“I think we’re right where we need to be at this point.” “We had some great things happen, there are also things we need to improve on. The whole season is a process, and this trip is a part of the process. I’m really happy with everything at this point.” Taylor finished with what he hopes his athletes took away from their trip out west. “I hope that people come back with the knowledge that every opportunity we have to compete before the Heps is very important,” he said. “There aren’t very many meets before the Heps, so I hope that is something that everyone comes back focused on. These meets were the first step in the second part of the year.”

Original Author: Juan Carlos Toledo