Women’s Track and Field post record breaking performances

Monique Nethington

Sophomore heptathlete Juanita Webster stands at the helm of the women’s track and field record breaking season.

Over the course of the last three meets she has broken into the top-five in the high jump, 100-meter high hurdles and the heptathlon for Cerritos.

She said that there really wasn’t any emotion when she found out that she had broken those records, just that it felt good to get back to her old self.

The excitement for the team began at the Ben Brown Invitational, which took place March 10-11.

Webster led the way with a personal best performance in the 100-meter high hurdles. She ran for a 13.94 seconds race, which was not only fast enough to earn her second overall in the meet, but in the school’s history too.

Sophomore runner Skylin Harbin followed suit by posting yet another record breaking mark in the 400-meter intermediate hurdle race. With her time of 62.37 seconds she was able to finish third overall in the competition, and take the fourth spot overall in the school’s history.

Webster said “It has been amazing knowing [Harbin] has not quit despite [suffering] through some injuries.”

The Athletes dominated in the field events as well. Of the throwers, freshman’s Amber Hart, Mystasia Alexander and sophomore Crystal Rodriguez would join Harbin and Webster in the record books.

Alexander would post a distance of 41.92 meters which was good enough for a second place finish in the meet and the fourth best spot in the school’s history.

However, just one meet later at the UNLV Invitational she would beat that distance and post a 43.68 meter throw, giving her the top position in that event for Cerritos.

“I wasn’t trying to go for the record. I was just trying to break my [personal record,]” Alexander said, “But when I heard [that I broke the record] I was really excited and it really pushed me to do better.”

Hart also took home a school record, and a fourth place finish in the shot put. She threw for distance of 13.55 meters giving her the fifth spot in the school’s record book.

The success continued at the Ben Brown Invitational with Rodriguez throwing for 40.65 meters in the javelin, good for a second place finish but just shy of a top-five mark in the record books. She now holds the sixth farthest distance in school’s history.

Among other winners on the day were sprinters Kymberlynn Jackson, Breanna Curry and Amanda Salgado.

Jackson and Curry would place in the top-five in each of their respective events, while Salgado would take home fourth in the 400-meter open race with a time of 61.29 seconds.

One week later, the team traveled to UNLV to compete in its school invitational.

It was here that Webster also broke the school’s heptathlon record. She now holds the top spot with a total of 5,399 points, passing the previous record of 5,201 points.

Direct of Track and Field Christopher Richardson said, “Juanita is extremely driven and passionate about being a student-athlete. I knew she was capable of achieving the school record, so there was no surprise.”

Richardson joked that even though she broke the record Webster was actually disappointed because she believed she could have done better

“That is a mark of a true champion,” he finished.As previously mentioned Alexander was able to surpass the her previous personal record and the school’s top mark in the javelin. That distance was far enough to earn her second place at the UNLV invite.

Harbin, also had another record breaking meet this time posting a top-five mark in the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.46 seconds.

Webster said, “She shows up when she can, puts in work when she is hurt and at the end of the day she sees the results.”

In total on the weekend the women’s team had nine athletes place in the top 10, and would finish with 47 total points for a ninth-place finish.

The following event would prove not as eventful as the previous two. The women competed in the Aztec Invitational at San Diego State University.

The team took home only two first place wins, which would go to the 400-meter relay team and freshman jumper Jelani Minix.

Minix would post a distance of 10.82 meters in the triple jump. She would be followed by teammates Miranda Valentin (10.6 meters) and Lilian Ebanks (10.59 meters.)

The team will now look forward to the latter part of the season, using the the next couple meets as preparation for the heptathlon championship and conference championships.

Webster says she expects big numbers from herself at the heptathlon championship, hoping to score in 5500 point range which would break the record she just se by over 100.

As for the rest of her team Webster said, “I expect everyone to show up, do the best that they can and what they have been practicing for.”

She finished by saying that the team needs to collaborate with one another and work through their individual event to get a good score.

Despite her successful performances through the season she really appreciates the efforts from her fellow teammates and believes them to have really come into their own as the season has progressed

Richardson said, “We are just getting started and I know there are big things ahead for our program. The school records are simply a milestone to getting to where the athletes need to be in May.”