By Hector Ibanez
The Glendale Community College Men’s and Woman’s Track & Field team has had a successful season so far.
The coaching staff this season is led by head coach Delawn Leggett, hurdles coach Ralph Neighbors, Richard Cherry handles the throwers, Randy Espinoza is in charge of the runners, Cranny Hysong coaches the pole vault, vertical jumps is controlled by Ray Davis, and Rachael Guest coaches the horizontal jumps.
The Gauchos opened up the campaign at the 2014 Paradise Valley Community College Indoor on January 24. On the lady Gauchos side, Freshman Makaela Pratt and Malika Murphy finished first and second place in the 60 Meter Dash. Pratt recorded a time of 7.96 and Murphy with 8.01.
In the 800 Meter race, Glendale was successful once more as Sophomores Dorothea Towson claimed third place (2:26.29), Aysia Oliver took fourth (2:51.53), and Daphni Kilgore in fifth (2:54.34).
The lady Gauchos track team are a young squad that consists of freshmen and sophomores. They will look to create leadership among themselves since no upperclassmen are on the team.
“Each year is a different year due to the turnover of athletes. So far, it has gone very we’ll. We have posted many great marks and our athletes are being recruited nationally. Last year, we were sophomore heavy. This year we are freshmen heavy.” Said head coach Delawn Leggett.
The freshman Gauchos took four out of the first five places in the 1000 Meter race as Beatriz Martinez came on top with the time of 3:09.49, Dystnie Eckblad in third (3:17.35), Bridgette Sotelo in fourth place (3:18.63), and Alissa Hazine in fifth (3:20.51).
In the 4kg Shot Put event, the lady Gauchos proved to be successful yet again as four Glendale athletes concluded within the first ten spots. Sophomore Aysia Oliver finished in first place by hurling the shot put 10.08 meters. Maritza Murillo pitched the 4kg ball 12.52 meters resulting in a third place finish. Sophomore Daphni Kilgore ended in fourth place when she threw the sphere 8 meters. Freshman Alexus Dale claimed sixth place after tossing 10.89 meters.
On the men’s side of the 2014 Paradise Valley Community College Indoor meet, 5 Gauchos finished within the top 10 of the 1000 meter run. Sabir Mohamed came in first place with the time of 2:39.76, sophomore Steven Wagner finished in third while recording a time of 2:40.85. Freshman Casey Lozano clocked in at 2:44.32 concluding in fourth place, Arjun Khatowada in sixth at 2:54.64, and Corey Price in seventh at 3:03.86.
The track and field squad are off to great start as 10 Gaucho men finished in the top 10 of their events and the lady Gauchos keep their winning ways alive.
Standout athlete Michael Wagner had an impressive showing in the 1500 Meter race by capturing first place with the time of 4:03.87. Wagner also had an impressive showing 3000 Meter race as he took home second place and recorded a time of 9:01.20.
Lady Gaucho athlete Daphni Kilgore placed in six events beginning with the 800 meter race where she came in sixth place. Kilgore also finished sixth in the 60m Hurdles. The sophomore competed in the 4kg shot put event and ended in fourth place by tossing it 8 meters.
With a little over three months left in the season, the Gauchos will intensify their training to compete at the highest level.
“The training has changed. We have begun to challenge them more. We have encouraged them to take their training to the next level whether that means run faster, jump higher or throw further. We want them to hit the qualifying marks needed to get to Outdoor Nationals.” Said coach Leggett
With six meets left until the regional tournament, the Glendale Gauchos will look to stay focused and chase the ultimate goal of winning a national title.