SMC Track qualifies one despite injuries at Southern California Regionals

The Santa Monica College Corsairs track and field team qualified only one athlete for the Southern California championships at the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Trials and Finals held at Cerritos College on Saturday. Freshman Genesis Smith's distance of 13.38 meters in the men's triple jump was enough to advance him to the Southern California Regional Championships which will be held this upcoming Saturday at Cerritos.

In the first event of the day, the men’s 4x100 meters relay, the final pass from sophomore James Rincon to freshman Devyn Deckard was not completed in the passing zone. The action resulted in an immediate disqualification.

The second event, the men’s 1500 meter, was even rougher with sophomore Baldemero Cruz fell 120 meters into the race and injured himself in his last run for the Corsairs.

The injury bug hit the Corsairs a second time as during the warm up for the men's 400 meter dash, freshman Fred Herrarte injured his quad. However, he continued on to post a time a 51:45, his slowest 400 time of the season.

Deckard attempted to redeem himself for the earlier passing lane foul in the men's 400 meter hurdles. However, his time of 59.19 placed him seventh out of nine with two runners having been disqualified on false starts.

Adding to the physical hurdles faced by the team, the sole woman on the team, Jamelah Grate was unable to run the time she had desired.

The two sport stand-out was unhappy with her time in the women's 100 meter, 13.13, and refused to speak after the preliminary heat.

However, she could, "live with," her time in women’s 200 meter, 16:45, though it did not qualify her for the finals.

Her attempts were valiant, but still fell short for a runner who had jumped in in the middle of track season straight from the basketball court.

In the final run of the day, the men's 4x400 meters team actually finished the race but their time of 3.23.24 failed to advance them past the first preliminary heat.

The Corsair team failed to score a point on either the men's or women's side as the Cuesta College Cougar men and the Cerritos College Falcon women took the day.

Though Smith was the only member who qualified, Corsairs track & field head coach Larry Silva reflected that SMC now has a “good setup for next year."