Track and field falls short of first place
As the Santa Monica College track and field team entered the second half of the season, strong and injury-free and with an upward and determined approach, SMC lost at a tightened and vibrant warm meet last Friday afternoon.
The fourth Western State Conference track and field mini-meet took place at SMC under slight windy and warm weather conditions.
The WSC is the largest conference in California and includes a total of 13 schools.
Among the four schools hosted at SMC were Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros, Los Angeles Valley College Monarchs, West Los Angeles College Oilers and Allan Hancock College Bulldogs.
"It was a very strong meet - not only the people who usually perform well continued to do well, but several people stepped up as well," said Eric Barron, women's head coach.
Even though SMC student athletes did not win the meet, their performances were astonishing and many stood out.
Among them were Esther Guillen, who won third place in the 1500- and 3000-meter run, and Sandra Hendricks who finished first with a time of 26.5 seconds in the 200-meter sprint.
The SMC male athletes did not take part in the javelin and long jump events that opened the meet.
For Zora Golcevska, a fantastic 27-year-old SMC female athlete, it was a very long day.
Golcevska, who is back into track and field after a long absence, did well all season long and contributed to the overall points of last Friday's WSC meet.
"I love the team. The coach is great and it is so much fun to be back in track and field," said Golcevska, who managed to win the long jump event, taking first place and tightening the overall score of 71 to 75 for first-place SBCC.
Golcevska also placed second in the javelin and shot put events.
Finally, she also arrived in second in the 100-meter hurdle (which is normally not an athletic event she performs), behind another brilliant athlete, Chrisitan Burrell, who won first place with strong legs in the 100-meter hurdle event in which she excels.
SMC women's athletes' performances, strengths and rapidity were astonishing during the 4x100 and 4x400 relays where SMC won first place twice.
"We are fast and very talented girls. We just have to put our minds together," said Lisha Burch, who participated in the relays.
SMC women lost the overall score by 10 points to SBCC, finishing in second place.
During the meet Frances Jones, SMC's strongest sprinter in the 100-meter and 200-meter, suffered a strained hamstring.
Also, Christa McCarthy suffered a heel injury during the high jump event.
If the women did well, the men honored them with amazing performances.
The SMC male athletes started with a 41-feet-and-two-inches shot put by Luis Acosta, which propelled SMC to a first place finish in that event.
The 4x100 meter relay was admirably operated by the SMC who were first with a time of 42.9 seconds.
Dorian McClain's high jump of 6-foot-6-inche put SMC over for a first place finish.
The 800-meter and 1500-meter events were pulverized by the crowd's favorite, Mo Elmi, who finished the 800-meter in first place with a time of two minutes and five seconds.
For the 1500-meter event Elmi posted a time of four minutes and nine seconds for his second first place finish of the day.
Like the women, the men also finished in second place for the overall position of the day.
SMC has six more meets before the State Championship that will take place in Sacramento in mid May.
The next meet will take place at the Mt. San Antonio College this Saturday.
After the WSC Preliminaries taking place in two weeks at Moorpark College, athletes must qualify at the three remaining meets to advance to the State Championship.
For SMC's track and field team qualifying for the State will be a goal set at the beginning of the season, and one they hope to reach.