The Yuba College men’s and women’s track and field teams are preparing to make a run at defending its Bay Valley Conference crown. This might be a difficult task considering the 49ers have moved out of the small schools division and are now back with the large schools.
Last season the BVC split into a large and a small school division for the track and field season. Yuba was placed in the small school division and dominated the BVC trials and finals held at Orognen Field on the Yuba College campus.
Some of the larger schools complained that there was not enough competition in the BVC large school trials and finals, therefore; BVC officials ended the split between the small and large schools.
Marie Kroeger will guide Yuba and is starting her eighth year with the program. Geoff Wahl, Nick Vogt and Jeff Putland will assist Kroeger. “This is probably the strongest women’s team that that I have ever had since coaching here,” said Kroeger.
Shelly Gowin, a Wheatland High product, is the only returning sophomore but Heather Contreras, a sophomore Sutter graduate, returns to the area after spending a season at Cal-Poly in San Louis.
Gowin will run the hurdle events while Contreras’ main focus will be on the triple jump. Contreras won the California state high school meet in the triple jump as a senior and has already broke the Yuba College school record in the event.
Brianna Cardenas, a freshman from Oklahoma, looks very strong in the 110 low hurdles and should also excel at the high jump. Rachel Mintz, a freshman from East Nicolaus, and Cardenas will each compete in the heptathlon.
Yvette Coleman, a freshman from Marysville, will compete in the sprinting events while freshman Ginny Wright from Wheatland will run the hurdle events. Jason Ybarra, Justin Miller, Nick Johnston and Rubin Masso are all returning sophomores to the men’s team.
Freshman Sean Warner from East Nicolaus and Joe Lemanager from Sutter are strong recruits and will each compete in the decathlon.
David Jones, a freshman from Yuba City, has a nagging injury but should be a competitor in the 100, 200 and 400. Freshman Kevin Hinman from Alaska will run the 200, 400 and will also long jump.
Ybarra will be a leader among the distance runners while Johnston, who is also hobbled due to injury, will compete in the 100, 200 and 400. Masso will be a threat in the shot put, discuss and hammer for the 49ers.