Genesis Smith qualifies for state finals in triple jump

Unlike the previous week where he had teammates to soothe his anxiety, Santa Monica College track and field athlete Genesis Smith calmly warmed himself up for his triple jump heat alone. "I should have warmed up earlier," Smith said as he stretched his body. Despite showing great signs of nervousness and restlessness the previous week, Smith remained calmed as he warmed up in the same spot he did in the Southern California Regional the week prior.

On Saturday, Smith, the sole representative for the SMC track team, qualified for the triple jump state finals at the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Finals.

According to SMC head coach Larry Silva, Smith was unable to execute many technical parts of the run in practice during the week. However before the run, "everything fell together harmoniously," Silva said.

The coach mentioned that "everything they had practiced during the week was right on [during the warm-up]," as he described the experience as a "pleasant surprise."

In the final round, Smith qualified himself with a jump of 14.04 meters, improving 0.66 meters from his preliminary jump.

This was enough to reach the A-standard necessary for the State Championship that will be held this weekend at the College of San Mateo.

Head coach Larry Silva did not receive word that Smith had qualified until Monday afternoon as only six athletes qualified at the A standard in the Northern California Community College Championships.

"I would like to thank everybody for their support" Smith said.

West Los Angeles Cougar freshman athlete Palacio Zain won the event with a distance of 14.45 meters.

The Mount San Antonio College Mounties men's team and the Cerritos College Falcons won the day with 160.5 and 133.5 points respectively.

Smith was responsible for all four of the Corsairs' points.

Looking forward to this weekend's state finals, it appears that Smith will face tough competition for the gold in San Mateo.

College of the Sequioas Giants freshman athlete Tacuma Anderson-Richards lead all athletes in either the Northern or Southern California regionals with a distance of 15.66 meters.

In order to win at the finals, Silva said Smith would need to, "[have] a significant improvement over the week" and "if he can do [what he did at regionals] again this week, then anything is possible."

The state finals will be held at the College of San Mateo on May 15-16.The triple jump event will take place on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.