Prelim competition coming off heels of championship, broken records

Denny Cristales

A weekend of broken records and a conference championship will be expanded on this Saturday for the Southern California Prelims.

The women’s track and field team captured its third-straight conference championship, finishing in first place.

The men’s track and field team had two records broken as it finished in second place at the South Coast Conference Championships last Saturday.

For the upcoming prelims, the teams are trying to qualify for the Southern California Championships for May 9, both of the meets being hosted at Cerritos College.

The conference championship won by the women’s team is the ninth in school history. Six different athletes finished first in each individual event, while others also qualified for prelims.

“It’s a great feeling,” Alexandra Cormier said, who did the 100-meter hurdle event and qualified for Saturday. “It’s been three years in a row and from my understanding it’s never been three years in a row. (Mt. San Antonio College) is our biggest competitor and we got first, so it felt real good.”

Cormier felt her hurdle performance wasn’t her best, but she feels a body check will do her just fine for prelims.

She said, “I understand that my body wasn’t doing what I feel like what I wanted it do, so that just means I just have to refocus, regroup and remember what I did in my good races and apply that to this weekend.”

The two records broken for the men’s team were the same exact records broken by the same exact men.

Matthew Seawright and Juan Ward both bettered their records in the hammer throw and the hurdle, with a throw of 56.46 meters and a hurdle jump of 14.15.

Seawright is not too worried about prelims, as he feels that he is more than capable when it comes to qualifying for finals.

“I’m not exactly worried about not qualifying because I’m ranked fairly high in my events,” he said. “Whatever happens happens. I know what to do, so I should be fine.”

To prepare, the team goes through technical drills in order to emphasize the motions of each event, something head-thrower coach Lloyd Higgins focuses on for practice.

Seawright utilizes the motion-type training for his discus throw, hammer throw and shot-put event.

“A lot of it is just technique,” Seawright said. “You don’t necessarily have to be that strong. A lot of it is just repetition and muscle memory.”

The hurdle competition works in a similar manner.

Cormier is focusing on making her movement fluid when the time comes to hop the hurdle Saturday.

“Your body will do it the instant it thinks of it. It’s automatic. You don’t have to think about it.”

Despite prelims being for qualifying sake, she wants to compete to win.

“No matter what, I gave everything that I could have. I’m not going to end my race feeling ‘I should have done this. I should have done that.’”