Four Broncos qualify for National Championships

By Bri Wingfield

While the men’s and women’s track and field teams ended their season last weekend at Westmont, four Broncos are headed to Bradenton, Florida this week to compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Track and Field Championships.

The women’s team is sending senior Calene Morris to compete in the 5K race.

Morris set a personal record for the 5K two weeks ago at the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship.

“This is going to be my first track nationals,” said Morris. “[I plan on] being the best athlete that I possibly can be and leaving with no regrets, regardless of what happens. It would be great to be an All-American, but I’m not thinking about that, I’m just thinking about running my race.”

Gaining an All-American status would mean finishing in the top eight of the race.

When asked what it feels like to be part of such an exclusive group, Morris said, “It’s just kind of how it worked out this year. We have a lot of young talent on the team and I’m sure next year they will have a much bigger group going [to nationals].”

The men’s team will send senior Mark Huizar, junior Ruben Dominguez and senior Damani Brown.

Huizar will compete in the 10K, as well as the 5K run with teammate Dominguez. Brown will compete in the javelin.

Huizar has set new personal records for himself along with a CPP school record in the 5K this season.

“Anything less than an All-American finish at nationals would be a failed season,” Huizar said lightheartedly.

This will be Huizar’s third trip to nationals, as a veteran to the process.

“I am more excited [about the meet], I won’t feel the nerves build up until the day of,” Huizar said.

Huizar had his last workout before the race yesterday, and will focus on rest and recovery leading up to his runs.

Dominguez is making his first nationals debut after missing last season’s competition by one place”this year he will be running as the 10th seed out of 20.

Dominguez attributes the success he has had this season to teammate Huizar.

“The difference this season has got to be Mark,” said Dominguez. “In races, we will run next to each other and go off one another’s pace, helping us get where we want to be. I won’t feel the pressure until I’m on the line. Once I’m on the track I realize this is all really happening.”

Doing well at this year’s national competition will give Dominguez the “mentality and confidence” to go for one of the top spots in next year’s competition.

Dominguez is currently sitting in second place for the school record in the 5K.

Brown will be entering the javelin competition at nationals with the 15th spot of the 20 selected to compete.

This year’s trip to Nationals will be head coach Wes Ashford’s third with CPP.

“Going out and having the kids accomplish their goals is what I will consider a successful season.”

Nationals will take place Thursday through Saturday in Bradenton, Florida.

Calene Morris, one of the four representatives that will in Florida this weekend.

David Wilson / The Poly Post

Calene Morris, one of the four representatives that will in Florida this weekend.

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