A chilly 45 degrees with a lovely shower reminiscent of a cold sneeze made the conditions for last Saturday’s Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers track meet anything but ideal.
“It definitely could’ve been a nicer day,” Kayla “Kandi” Eland PZ ’12 said, “but I think the dreariness was actually to my advantage.” Eland’s sly smile solicited more questions, but none were needed. “My secret weapon lies in my pre-game warm-up plan. And by ‘warm-up’ I don’t mean strides,” Eland confided with a wink.
Eland, along with many of the other runners on the women’s track squad, has a very event-specific line-up of songs that keep her running. For Eland, “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre really suits her fancy whenever she prepares for her lengthy 5k races. “I just play it over and over again in my head. It’s actually sort of become a meditation.”
Anja “Cap’n” Hughes-Stinson PZ ’11, one of the squad’s mid-distance runners, is more in step with country singers, some of her favorites being Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts. “When I know that the race is going to be a tough one,” Hughes-Stinson said, referring to last week’s scene, “I typically go with a more up-beat song. Last week I was all about Rascal’s ‘Life is A Highway.’”
Hughes-Stinson, who was battling through more than just an 800-meter race as she overcame a nasty bout with the flu, explained that she channeled lead singer Gary LeVox’s powerful vocals, especially as she pulled around the final curve of the race.
A good race-day song can’t just be anything on the radio. It requires a certain zeal, with a very particular kind of punch.
“You really have to tap into the passion of some of these people’s voices when you get ready for a big race,” Roxy Cook PZ ‘13 explained.
Based on the results from the meet, summed up with a shrug of the shoulders as simply a “good start” to the season, it looks like quite a few of the P-P “trackletes” found a way to power through the pain with uplifting, and, I hesitate to say it, inspiring music.
From the sprinting crew, there was a strong showing from the freshman class. Hanna Levin PO ’14 ran three events and came in first in her heat during the 100-meter dash, with a time of 14.23. Marisa Schwarz PZ ’14 ran a speedy 200-meter race, powering across the finish line in 29.81, with Levin close behind her, legs still warm from her last race, in 29.97. The girls both declined to comment on their pre-meet playlists.
Pole Vaulter Lara Hughes-Stinson, the squad’s flaxen-haired Pitzer senior, shone at the pit, where she flew 30.05 meters into the air, earning her second place at the meet. Initially reluctant to vault for the team this year, after such a strong showing for her first meet, there’s no turning back now for Hughes-Stinson.
Regardless of the rain, the cold, the clouds and the Family Weekend frenzy, the Pomona-Pitzer ladies’ track team was able to pull themselves together and run some strong races.
“The darker blue makes us even more awesome,” distance runner Kate Brieger PO ’11 said. “It was great to be out there with so many people cheering.”
Good things are in store for the team as they prepare for this weekend’s Rossi Relays at the CMS track. Until then, runners, throwers, and jumpers are combing the recent listings of Top 40 hits to prepare for the races. Chirp!