The Sacramento City College women’s track and field team is looking to build from last year’s campaign after becoming the 2017 Big 8 Conference Champions. The team delivered the program’s first conference championship since 2009.
Hoping to repeat that success, City College head coach Marisa Avendano said she wants her team to take it one step at a time throughout the process.
“Our expectations are for the ladies to buy into the program,” she said. “We have a strong team, and we are only as strong as they’re willing to work.”
Avendano believes her coaching staff, who brings a background of competitive experience, will also play a key role this season while helping the team reach its top potential. She said it is important for her and the other coaches to understand and read the team so that they can better know the limitations and how far to push the athletes.
“I try to work with with the assistant coaches when I see things that are missing (from the athletes), in terms of helping the student-athletes achieve their goal,” said Avendano.
Sophomore Jasmine Loyola will be returning for the Panthers after finishing second in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the conference championships last season. She finished with the time of 12 minutes and 31 seconds. Eleven days later at the NorCal Trials and Finals, her time dropped to 12:49.86, causing Loyola to finish in seventh place.
“It did not go very well for me,” said Loyola on the significant drop of her time at the trials and finals. “I was off, and I did not perform well.”
Loyola said her goal this year is to make it to state in the steeplechase.
“She’s one of the best steeplechasers in the area,” Avendano said of Loyola. “She’s looking really strong.”
Loyola is one of many distance runners who will be entering the track and field season with a second consecutive Big 8 Championship in cross-country. Avendano hopes that championship experience can serve as a mental boost.
“It gives them confidence,” Avendano said. “We can bring that to the track and give the others that same motivation and hopefully the momentum can carry us.”
During the 49er Invite at Yuba College Feb. 24, where the City College women took fourth place, scoring 50 points at the meet, freshman runner Daryia Greene took first place in the 800m run with the time of 2:31.32 in her track debut.
“It was pretty solid,” said Greene, who was excited about first place but is looking to improve her time.
Greene didn’t compete in the 400m dash at Yuba but is looking to break 55 seconds in the event this season.
Sophomore thrower Riley Cannon took fourth place in both the discus throw and the shot put.
“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” she said. “I did better in the warmups than I did when the actual meet started.”
Cannon threw the shot put 10.81 meters and 33.18 in the discus throw.
The Panthers will travel to CSU Stanislaus March 2 to compete in the Kim Duyst Invitational.
For more info on SCC track and field, visit www.sccpanthers.losrios.edu/sports/wtrack/.