Track and Field Athletes Excel at Moorpark Meet

SMC athletes, Francisco Casillas, Jimmy Darling, and Jessica Juarez excelled during Friday’s track and field meet at Moorpark College that brought together a number of competing colleges including Citrus, Moorpark, Glendale, West Los Angeles, and LA Valley colleges. Francisco Casillas came in first place during the first heat of men’s 400 meter dash and led his team to victory in the 4x400 meter relay.

A scare ensued when Casillas pulled out during the 200 meter and then limped off the track, but Jumps coach Artis Edwards assured the Corsair that he would be ready to compete in the following week and that he had only suffered a minor hamstring sprain.

“We have a lot of ability on the men’s team, we just have to put it all together,” head coach Larry Silva said. “We have a couple of guys that are going to be significant to the team that got injured at the beginning of the season. We’re just healing them right now.”

Mide Ogundipe placed in first in the long jump with 6.40 meters while SMC’s jumper Jimmy Darling placed third in the same heat with a 6.11 meter jump.

Darling then placed third in the high jump, leaping 1.90 meters.

“He definitely has a lot of potential,” said coach Edwards about Darling. “When we finally get him refined, he’s going to be a great athlete.”

Jessica Juarez, who just joined the team this past December, took home a third place in shot put with a 8.14 meter throw.

Silva admitted to being very pleased with the overall performance of the track and field team this semester.

Silva, who also instructs a fitness program at SMC, handpicked many of the girls on the women’s track and field team

“The beautiful thing about them is that almost all the girls on that team I pulled out of physical education classes,” Silva said. “So I brought them in that way, and now they’re actually being competitive, which they probably never thought they could.”

Silva is looking forward to the WSC Finals that will be held at Moorpark College on April 27.

It’s just the second meet, so I keep telling them that they shouldn’t have any kind of pressure on themselves. We just go out there, perform, and have fun. If they duplicate what they’re doing at practice, their performance is going to take care of itself.”

“The coaches keep us level headed,” Darling said. “So, even if we’re not winning meets, as long as we are improving on our individual events, we feel better about ourselves.”