Women’s Track and Field Sets Records Despite Falling to Cal Lutheran

While the The Student Life prepared to amuse it readers for Aprils Fools’ day, the Pomona-Pitzer women’s trackers were busy making headlines: two weekends, two meets, 23 track events, 16 field events, six CA/NV Collegiate championship qualifiers, four P-P boys left behind when the bus left for Thousand Oaks, three P-P all-time marks and one personal best relay time.

March 24 turned out to be a warmer day than the athletes would have hoped for at Moorpark College in Thousand Oaks, CA, but no one was complaining. The peaceful and radiant desert surroundings, bulbous granite rock formations and dipping sedimentary beds created a pleasant atmosphere for a track meet. Plus, running in the heat builds character, and a track athlete is always looking to increase her ability to tolerate discomfort.    

Cal Lutheran ran an unexpectedly timely meet. They have not hosted in years, likely due to the fact that they have never invested in a track and field facility. While the Cal Lu runners lamented the fact that they missed out on their one opportunity for a home-track advantage, the P-P women made some outstanding breakthroughs in their running and throwing careers. To start the meet off strong, Tasha Block PO ’14 recorded the sixth-fastest time in the program history in the 3K steeple chase: 12:58.74. Block’s split caller, Natalie Dennis PO ’15, could not have been more excited as she clocked Block blowing away her goal time of 13:20.00.    

Consistently strong performers Katie Barton PO ’15 and Alex Oxborough-Yankus PZ ’14 also improved on their personal bests, landing themselves farther up on the P-P top-ten lists. Barton ran an outstanding 400-meter hurdle race landing herself at ninth with at time of 65.58, a reasonable time for a 400-meter dash (i.e. the same race minus the barriers). Oxborough-Yankus threw the javelin 116’2”, moving her into the eighth spot.

The 4×4 relay team, Barton, Erin Delaria PO ’15, Stephanie Micham PO ’15 and Dot Silverman PO ’14 also found success under the belligerent sun at the Moorpark track, finishing with a personal best of 4:11.93.  

Overall, the women lost to Cal Lutheran (expected) and beat Cal Tech (again, not at all a surprise).

The following weekend presented the opportunity for the top P-P track and field athletes to compete against the best collegiate runners in California and Nevada, including Division I athletes, at the CA/NV Collegiate Championships, hosted by CMS. Our participants included Oxborough-Yankus (hammer, javelin), Delaria (pole vault), Barton (400-meter hurdles), Claire Brickson PO ’14 (5K), Leslie Canter PZ ’12 (10K) and Annie Lydens PO ’13 (1500). The other P-P athletes hit the blue track early, finishing a quick yet taxing workout just in time for Frary brunch. Bagels, eggs, bacon, French toast: all power foods for the CA/NV contestants.

While stormy weather discouraged spectators, the athletes stayed tough, gritting their teeth against the rain. Oxborough-Yankus just missed her ninth-ranked throw on the P-P record hammer list. A noble try -three more inches would have done it.  

The 10K race was gruesome. After 25 laps and nearly 41 minutes of racing, Canter crossed the finish line soaked and exhausted.  The prospect that she said kept her going during a race meant only for the strongest and most determined runners? A hot bath and season one of Game of Thrones

Up next, the Sagehens take on Occidental, CMS and La Verne tomorrow in a dual meet at La Verne. 

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