Written by Coby Dodelson
The Colorado College men’s and women’s track and field teams had their final meet of the regular season on Saturday at the Nature’s Bakery Invitational in Golden, Colo. CC needed solid performances across the board in order to boost team confidence heading into the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships next weekend. With many personal records and season bests from players on both teams, CC looked ready for playoff action.
The women’s team put together a well-rounded performance that included top-10 finishes from 12 Tigers. Perhaps the most notable showing was junior Asmeda Spalding-Aguirre’s second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, the highest place that any Tiger finished on Saturday. Even though this result was a great personal accomplishment for Spalding-Aguirre, she unselfishly praised her teammates. “We had lots of outstanding performances with several personal records and season bests, which helped move athletes up higher in the rankings,” she said following Saturday’s meet.
Sophomore Jules Stanley was one Tiger who jumped up in the rankings following Saturday’s meet. Stanley posted her personal best score in the javelin as she launched a throw 107’ 4.75”. Fellow sophomore Amanda Martin followed suit by posting her personal best javelin score of 89’ 6.75”. These promising results indicate a great swing in momentum for the Tigers just in time for the most important stretch of the season.
Even though Saturday’s meet gave the women’s team a much-needed surge of confidence, the squad remains focused and wants to improve as much as possible before the meet next weekend in the hope of bringing home some gold. Spalding-Aguirre said that the team “has to focus on speed training and staying healthy” to prepare for the conference championships.
The inspiring performance by the women’s team was echoed by that of the men’s team. The Tigers had top 10 finishes in various events throughout the day, but their jump squad stole the show. Leading the way was sophomore Henry Baldwin, who finished in second place in the high jump with a leap of 6’ 6.75”. First-year Ben Hall recorded his personal best score and finished in fifth place in the high jump with a height of 6’ 1.5”.
Just as the women’s squad emerged from Saturday’s meet in high spirits, the men’s side is also heading to the SCAC Championships beaming with confidence. “We’re coming into conference with some real momentum,” Baldwin said regarding the state of his team after the meet. “The jumps squad in particular had a great meet. Between John [Hatch] and myself, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think we can sweep first place in all three jumps at conference. And with good performance from Ben [Hall] and Trevor [Hightower] we can definitely put up 40 points in the jumps alone.”
Heading into the meet on Saturday, Head Coach Ted Castaneda hopes that this experience will both sharpen his teams and be a momentum builder for conference. The spectacular performances by both teams on Saturday met and surpassed Castaneda’s expectations. As a result, Castaneda feels his team is ready for the challenges ahead. “We are now primed and ready to go after it at the SCAC championships,” he said. This excitement for next weekend is growing among the athletes as well, and the teams are already discussing their keys for success at conference. “We need to focus on crushing the opposition,” Baldwin said. “Taste the blood in the water. Just beat the guy next to you.”
If Saturday’s meet is any indication, both CC track and field teams have a real shot for success when they travel to San Antonio for the SCAC championships next weekend. They are heading to the Lone Star State with some serious swagger, so don’t be surprised if they come home with medals to back it up.