SMC Track & Field Has Strong Performances With Lack of Members

When Santa Monica College Track & Field team boarded the van last Friday for their fourth track meet of the season hosted by Citrus College, they traveled short-handed.

At the third WSC meet of the season they awaited the competition of the Citrus College Owls, College of the Canyons Cougars and Bakersfield College Renegades.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it, because I need to lower my time to 1-2 seconds," said Michael Ruiz, 400-meter dash runner.

Although the team was lacking a few of its standard 15 members, SMC pulled out a win against Citrus with a score of 30. Bakersfield College scored 58 with College of the Canyons trailing behind with 59.

"Bakersfield and Canyons have considerably larger squads than we do, which helps them greatly, and they both have more field athletes than we do, but we also lost some points in areas we were expecting them (the relays and the high jump)," said Eric Barron,women's head coach of five years.

Throughout the meet, each team member ran to his or her potential, but two members stood out among the team: Zora Golchevska, "best field athlete," said Barron, who won an outstanding three events: long jump, were she scored 15'1-1/2; the shot put with a throw of 10.15m and lastly, took third in the javelin with a throw of 27.98m.

On the track, Christian Burrell won the 100m hurdles with an amazing time of 14.9.

"I expect for each athlete to give their best each time they line up on the track or take the field. I think that we generally saw that, so I am pleased with most of the team," said Barron.

"I'm going to run my personal best. There are a lot of great athletes, and coaches that help me reach my potential," said Arthur Sabot, who competed in the 110/400 hurdles.

In their conference, SMC's record at 3-6 is a confirmation of how much the team has improved over the year.

"The sprinters have improved since last year, and we have a strong sprint squad, though it could be better with more focus. Also, our distance runners have lately been improving now that their conditioning is setting in," said Barron.

For the duration of the season, as they continue to prepare for the state championship coming up in May, one of the goals they are working towards is to finish in the top half of the conference by the end of the season.

With a team of excellent runners there's no doubt SMC will accomplish their goals.