As the university continues to add new parking structures, dormitories and administration buildings, the latest addition to Cal Poly Pomona is the new women’s indoor track and field team.
The team will be coached by the current cross country and outdoor track and field coach, Chris Bradford.
“I’m very excited. This is something that I have wanted to implement since I got here,” Bradford said. “It’s going to give more opportunities to our ladies to be in championship races and go to national championships.”
The team will begin to compete in December 2019 with the goal of qualifying for the 2020 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships in March.
“When I first heard we were going to have an indoor team for the women’s team, I thought that this is awesome,” sophomore Zaria Francis said. “We are going to travel and show just how great we are in other states.”
CPP is the fifth California Collegiate Athletic Association institution to hold a women’s indoor track and field team. This team increases the number of teams in the department to 11.
“I have done indoor track before and there are some vast differences,” Francis said. “From the hardness of the track to the high side banks. An outdoor track feels easier to run on sometimes, but an indoor track is still awesome and once you get the hang of it, it is fun.”
The addition of an indoor track team allows more than 30 spots that could be added to the roster. This would increase the opportunities for female student-athletes to join the program.
Contrary to popular belief, an indoor track is not an outdoor track under a roof. The track itself and events that take place are different from those contested outdoors.
Indoor tracks will have banked turns which are bowl-shaped rather than flat on the turns to assist athletes to maintain their consistent speed.
This past season, the team produced impressive stats and broke records. Fifteen Broncos earned a spot on the 2019 NCAA Division II United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Outdoor Track & Field All-Region awards list.
Freshman Ana Tovi now holds the school-record throw in discus with a throw of 50.54 meters.
The women’s 4×100-meter relay team, which consisted of Francis, junior Nia Vance, sophomore Ryanne Napoleon and freshman Ayana Fields, broke the school record with a time of 46.04 at the Occidental College Invitational in Los Angeles last May.
Along with helping to break the school record for the 4×100, Fields also earned a Second Team All-America honor for her finish in the 200-meter preliminaries of the 2019 NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas.
In June, Tovi and Ryan Fields competed in the USA Track & Field U20 Outdoor Championships. Fields took third overall in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.88 seconds. Tovi placed eighth in the discus event with a throw of 48.75 meters.
Qualifying for the national championship during indoor track and field is similar to the qualifying process of the outdoor season. In both seasons, provisional and automatic standards are set for the athletes.
The Broncos will participate in invitational meets across the country in hopes to hit the automatic qualifying marks.
The Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on March 13-14.
The addition of the women’s indoor track and field team gives CPP a chance to showcase the talent of the women of the track and field program in the upcoming season.
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