The Cal Poly Pomona track and field team kicked off its 2020 outdoor season at the 24th Annual Rossi Relays in Claremont on Feb. 22 with a riveting finish in the rain.
The Broncos took control of the Burns Track & Field complex having both multi-events and runners ready to compete at a high level.
“I was really excited to get going on the outdoor season,” head coach Chris Bradford said. “(It’s a) little different this year with indoor to get us moving a little earlier, but (I) was really excited to get going with the men’s team finally and really have the women show what they can do on the outdoor scene as well.”
As the women’s track and field team wrapped up its indoor events, placing seventh out of 17 teams and earning 30.50 points, the men showcased what they were made of.
With drive and determination to set the bar high, the Bronco men had a team score of 136 and reigned winners against 16 other teams. UC San Diego trailed behind them with 123 points and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with 54 points in third place.
Sophomore Matteo Madrassi had the Broncos on their feet as he pole vaulted over 5.05 meters and sailed to victory. With a unanimous win over his competitors, he even attempted for a personal best.
“To be honest, I’m not satisfied at all. I came there to jump way higher, I wanted to meet a standard for Nationals .… What makes me sad is that I jumped really bad,” Madrassi said.“I wanted to make 5.15 (meters) which were the last two jumps that I’ve done.”
Madrassi’s teammates also left a stance in the pole vault event. Sophomore Thomas Prata vaulted 4.45 meters to place in fourth as another Bronco, senior Kyle Lawson, tied with Prata, for fourth place, granting the Broncos with 4.45 points each to the team’s score.
Senior Aaron Guerra-Garcia hit a provisional mark of 55.90 meters in the hammer throw.
Freshman Anthony Victa triple jumped 14.28 meters to snatch the Broncos six points added to the men’s score as Victa placed third place.
As the gunshot fired off, the men’s 400- meter relay team of Taariq Chestnut-Davis, Kenneth Hamel, Joshua Johnson and Jordan Gibson sprinted in full speed and crossed the finish line first with a time of 41.75 seconds as their teammates were on their feet cheering.
Junior Jordan Gibson secured second place in the 100-meter dash with 10.76 seconds. Sophomore Kyle Johnston came close to Gibson but landed himself in fourth place with a time of 10.92 seconds. Another Bronco, Chestnut-Davis, also trailed behind him by 0.02 seconds and placed fifth.
With grand highlights from the men’s team, the women had some phenomenal highlights as well.
Senior Anela Miki-Han placed second in the women’s shot put event and hurled an outstanding throw of 11.88 meters, securing the Broncos eight points to their score.
The 4×400-meter women’s relay team had a successful indoor meet last weekend and had a slightly different team this time around. National qualifier sophomore Ayana Fields didn’t race this weekend to rest and prepare for Nationals in Alabama in March.
It was up to junior Zaria Francis, freshman Analexis Glaude, freshman Jazminn Parrish and freshman Elisha Salazar to leave a mark on the Broncos’ name. The 4×400-meter women’s relay team finished strong in second place.
“I felt good (after the race) but I need to get back into shape because I’ve been doing volleyball in the first season for fall and this season track.” Parrish said.“For track, we had conditioning in the fall and I kind of missed that. I think I did pretty good, I’m just getting back to where I used to be.”
After a day of rough weather with sunshine and rain, the Broncos were showered with success at the Rossi Relays.
Up next, some of the Broncos will head up to Chico State to compete in their first heptathlon and decathlon of their opening season on Feb. 27-28.