Track and field teams head to Long Beach prelims

The Cerritos College men and women’s track and field teams managed to hold their own against competitive four year university athletes at the Long Beach State invitational on Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19.

Although the competition was not taken quite as serious in comparison to other meets by the coaching staff, the Falcons proved that they could run, jump and throw just as good as the four year athletes with prestigious school titles on their uniforms.

The meet was set up in a way to give respectable competition to the four year university athletes.

Many of the schools competing in the meet included Ohio State, Long Beach State and schools from Alaska.

The meet lasted from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. according to men’s assistant coach, Marco Anzures.

“It’s a big meet,” Anzures said.

The two day meet proved to be a valuable warm up assignment for the athletes as they prepared for the Long Beach City College preliminaries.

The fierce competition from the higher level athletes gave the Falcons a battle in which they proved themselves among the elite track and field athletes.

“Preparation for the prelims so far is pretty much a tune-up,” Anzures said.

Competitor of the Long Beach State Invitational, Ariel Melendez said that the event went well for her and her teammates as a whole.

“I got my PR (1029) for the 400,” Melendez said.

Even though Melendez’s skills truly shine when it comes to distance events, the track and field coaching staff feels that certain athletes can compete well in other events outside their comfort zone.

“I have to think its the same mentality,” Melendez said. “So switching events does not throw me off, I have to get in the zone in which ever event I am put in.”

Running side by side with the four year athletes, Melendez was not shaken by the difference of collegiate athletic division.

“It was intimidating at first but then overall, it gives me a little push and a little more drive to see how far I can push myself,” Melendez said.

Ramiro Santana was active in the Long Beach State invitational and will also be competing in the Long Beach City College prelims.

“Physically and mentally I was a little nervous, we were competing against four year athletes which are at a higher level than us,” Santana said.

According to Santana he believes the invitational has given him the training and confidence he needs to compete in the conference prelims.

The transportation will arrive at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the meet will commence at noon according to Melendez.