Track & Field end season at the State Championships
Advancing to the State Championship is no easy task, either as a team or as an individual athlete competing for only a few spots in all of California.
The Santa Monica College Corsairs traveled north on Saturday to compete at the California Community College State Championships.
SMC did not make it as a team but did compete in two events at the championship. In the 4 x 100-meter relay, the team of Zora Golcevska, Sandra Hendricks, Lisha Burch and Frances Jones pulled of a seventh place finish with a time of 49.07, their best time of the season.
Dorian McClain, competing for the men in the high jump event finished tied for 11 with a jump of 6'2".
The women in the 4 x 100 relay team could have finished with a better time but were struck by a sudden injury.
"Frances strained her hamstring in the middle of the homestretch, but still finished as best as she could," said Women's Head Coach Eric Barron. "We would have broken 49 seconds easily had that not happened."
The injury coming after the team anticipated coming away with a medal and breaking their season's best time, they did surpass their old mark despite the injury. "The women had worked hard on their handoffs during the week, and it paid off because the handoffs went smoothly and occurred in the zones where we wanted them to," said Barron. After a season of up and downs, SMC will only have Golcevska returning to compete next season. "We look forward to her returning, and expect her to participate in some heptathlon competitions next year, as well as to continue to work on her specialty, the long jump," said Barron. Burch and Hendricks, after two years at SMC will be moving on to four-year schools and will continue to run competitively. Jones will be transferring to Howard University in the fall.
"Frances was a nice surprise. Although we were only lucky enough to have her on the team for one season, we could not have gotten to the state meet without her," said Barron.
McClain was the only male athlete to make it to the championships for the Corsairs. Though he finished in 11th place, McClain will be back next year for his sophomore year.
"Dorian was pretty disappointed with his performance at the state meet, but it was a nice accomplishment to get to the meet, and his experience should motivate him to get back there next year and earn a medal," said Barron. For Barron, this was his fourth event he has coached at the State Championships, others events were the triple jump, shot put and the pole vault.
Next for Barron will be to coach the cross-country team this fall. The team sent two athletes last year to compete at the State Championships. "The cross country team has the potential to be better than last year's team, but, again, it means that the runners train seriously over the summer in order to be prepared for the fall competitive season," said Barron.