Track & field shines through season hurdles

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Track and Field’s 2018 spring outdoor season didn’t have both head coaches available full time, which left jumping events such as long jump, triple jump and high jump lacking “major assessment” during practices. 

“Those were the three events that were hurt most, if anything. There is a difference [when Coach Jordan-Seales is absent] because each head coach has like a responsibility to do certain things so when she’s gone that’s more stuff that I have to do so then it puts more stress on me”, said Les Anthony, men’s head coach. 

More challenges and responsibilities fell on Anthony and the other assistant coaches, such as entering athletes into the meets, feeding the athletes, and keeping track of meal logs to name a few.

Coaches regularly mention how the Mustangs need to do better than their rival, Modesto Junior College (MJC). 

“I think in the jumps we can have an advantage if everyone does what we’re supposed to be doing”, said Anthony.

Delta does not have as many athletes in competition compared to MJC and hopes individual athletes can outperform instead of relying on pure numbers to rank higher. Anthony says his concerns are for the men’s sprinting events.

“They’re [MJC] deep in the sprints on the men’s side. The men’s side they’re pretty well stacked in the 100, 200, 400, and the hurdle races”, said Anthony.

Top performance is expected in rain or shine for track and field athletes because it is an outdoor sport.

“No one is used to torrential hail storms out here for 45 minutes. It’s a whole different scenario when it’s like snowing hail. So the fact that everyone was able to compete after the hail storm was over, that was a big deal to me,”  said Anthony.

Some of the concerns the coaches have for their athletes involve mental preparation. 

“We’re trying to get our athletes mentally prepared for championship level because it’s coming up in two weeks. It’s going to be our Big 8 conference championship at Sac City, in two weeks. So then it goes NorCal Trials, it’s going to be at American River College. That’s going to be one week of trial periods then the next week is going to be finals basically and then that’s how you qualify for the state meet, the state meet is the following week,” said Anthony. 

Three athletes who have top performances for the season documented on directathletics.com are hurdler Malik Vegatatum, jumper Paolo DelosSantos and thrower Craig Perkins.

Anthony specifically named them when asked about athletes who he has noticed showing dedication to their events.

Delta’s track isn’t in the best condition, with cracks, dips, and humps all along the surface. This makes it difficult for the athletes to train on and disqualifies the school from hosting track meets at the junior college level.

“We’re expecting the school to step up to repair our track. We can’t get shovels and bulldoze and do it ourselves, they have to do it. I mean outside of that it’s just whenever they approve a fix they’re going to approve a fix,” said Anthony on the topic. 

On the track outside of the field house and throwing shed anyone can find recycling trash bins used to generate revenue for the track and field program. 

Feel free to donate your California Redemption Value (CRV) eligible materials if you’re ever watching a game on the Merv Smith football and track complex. 

The next track meet is in Marysville at Yuba College on April 21 at 9 a.m.