The spring season for Yuba College’s track and field team promises to be an exciting and eventful one. Over 30 athletes are on the 49ers team roster, which is a very decent amount. The majority of the team members are sprinters, with a few middle-distance runners; many of the sprinters will also be playing the field events.
“We’re working on building up the numbers on our team,” said Head Coach Bob Miller. “Our goal is to eventually have a team of 50 to 60.”
Many of the athletes on the team this year have been recruited from the fall sports, such as football and basketball. Coach Miller strongly encourages his players to participate in some sport every semester.
“Having them do track in the spring is great training for their fall sport,” said Miller. “It keeps them consistently strong and in-shape. We like our players to do both and almost insist that they do.”
The 49ers began their season with the Modesto Rotational Meet, where they competed against teams from Modesto, Fresno, and Reedley. Yuba players participated in most of the events, and had a good showing in most of them.
The highest ranking Yuba athlete was Jacob Rydman, who had two fourth place finishes in the 1500m at 4:18.70 and 5000m at 17:18.76. Aaron Christofic also finished fourth in the 110m hurdles, 22.69, and sixth in the 400m hurdles, 1:04.98.
Three of the 49ers were able to place in the top eight in the javelin throw. Curly Atkins, 107-03, placed sixth; John Haymore, 105-00, was seventh; and Lorgan Pau, 103-03, finished eighth. Haymore was also seventh in the 400m dash, 54.18, and Pau moved up a place in the hammer throw, 72-10.
Yuba’s sprinters were kept busy in their 100m, 200m and 400m dashes. Charles Johnson placed tenth in the 100m, 11.49; Dewyond Williams was fifteenth in the 200m, 23.65; and Ocie Johnson was eleventh in the 400m, 55.65.
The 49ers single female athlete, Gavina Avila, did well in her four different field events. She had two sixth place finishes in the triple jump and the javelin throw, and finished tenth in the shotput and eleventh in the long jump.
“I think she has a good chance of making State, especially in the javelin throw,” said Coach Miller.
Other Yuba athletes who are in good standing of qualifying for the State meet are Lawrence Wright in the triple long jump and high jump, and Jake Rydman in the distance running events.
The 4x100m men’s relay is also a popular event that has potential this year. According to Miller, there are already 8 runners vying for the relay positions. He believes that with Yuba’s sprinting talent this year, making the State meet is a high possibility.
The main points that Coach Miller is focusing on during the season’s training period are quick foot speed and technique.
“Everything is about foot speed in this sport,” said Miller. “So that’s what we focus on improving.”
Overall, good things are expected from the 49ers throughout the season. The next scheduled meet for the team is the Panther Invitational in Sacramento on March 20. Yuba will play six more games after that, and will be aiming to send several athletes to the State Meet on May 15 which will be held in Bakersfield.