The men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational Saturday at Strehle Field.
The invitational was not part of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, so the teams took the invitational as more of a practice for their final SCIAC Quad Meet on Saturday.
“I’m more concerned about next week, which is our third SCIAC event,” said senior runner Jasmin Gonzales. “I see it as a practice since it’s an invitational and there is so much competition, overall it’s kind of like a learning thing.”
La Verne competed against Chapman, UC San Diego, Westmont, Pepperdine, Cal Poly Pomona, Occidental, and their biggest competition, Cal Lutheran.
“Next week is it,” assistant coach Gary Rudin said. “We run against Cal Lu, Caltech and Pomona, but the La Verne and Cal Lu meet is for a conference championship, so today doesn’t matter that much because everything in their mind is thinking ‘I gotta have it next Saturday.’”
Even though the day’s scores were not exactly ideal, Rudin explained that there were small victories that could be taken away from it.
“We’re not having a great day, we’re having a good day, but every time were a little off there’s always somebody who has a personal best so to them personally they’re on,” Rudin said.
Senior Chancise Watkins placed in the men’s 200-meter, taking third place out of over 150 other runners.
The women’s track team remains undefeated in conference and the men are currently second.
“I think it helps a lot that were close outside of track as well, that we were close as friends before we were out on the track because we mesh well together and there’s not as much difficulty,” freshman runner Tiahna Gillon said.
Rudin explained that although the top runners are important to the team, the other runners are what keep the team going as well.
“It isn’t only the elite runner, but all these other people who count,” Rudin said.
Assistant coach Paul Turner has high hopes for the track and field team moving forward through the conference championships.
“I want the women to win the conference championship, for the men to finish in the top two at least, and I want to have at least one man and one woman to make it into nationals in the long jump or triple jump,” Turner said.
Kat Simonelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.