On May 3, track and field thrower, Alejandro Sandoval Guzman, was recognized by the California Collegiate Athletic Association as the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Steve Scott Invitational.
Sandoval Guzman reached his career’s all time high during the 2022 UC San Diego Triton Invitational ranking among the top 10 with a shot put of 15.89 meters during the first week of April. Continuing to break his own records, he competed in three events at the Steve Scott Invitational, where he came in eighth in the shot put, 15.77m, 12th in the discus, 48.65m, and 16th in the hammer throw, 40.89m. His rankings, along with his team’s accomplishments this season, led them up to the CCAA track and field championship this past weekend.
Although track and field was not where Sandoval Guzman thought he would excel, he first sparked an interest in the sport in high school.
“I did football in high school, and our coaches had said if we didn’t want to do spring conditioning, we would have to do track,” Sandoval Guzman said. “So, I did track my sophomore year, and I fell in love with it and just started excelling in track more than football. So, track took over my life.”
After graduating from Summit High School in Fontana, Cali., he continued his collegiate athletic career at Mount San Antonio College for two and a half years.
Sandoval Guzman’s days are filled with practices, classes and work. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., he is typically found practicing. Because his days are so hectic, he prepares for competitions in a mental capacity as much as he would physically.
“I wouldn’t do anything that I wouldn’t do at practice, so let’s say the day before a competition, I make sure all my equipment is good to go, and I make sure that my phone is charged,” he explained. “I make sure that I’m mentally dialed in, because I think that 50% of throwing is all mental, and you have to be able to mentally be able to see yourself throw a certain way, throw a certain distance, and then the other 50% is actually execution.”
Outside of track and field, Sandoval Guzman is also passionate about teaching. He graduated from CPP with a bachelor’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in pedagogy and is currently working toward obtaining his single-subject teaching credentials as well as his master’s from CPP. His ultimate career choice is to become a physical education teacher.
Sandoval Guzman is no stranger to hard work and dedication. Because most of his days are filled with juggling work, school and track, he focuses on pacing himself during competitions.
“Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast,” he said, ‘“Slow is smooth’ means that you don’t have to rush, and ‘smooth is fast’ means that if you do it correctly the first time, then you’re good. So, if I’m relating it to throwing, when I go through the circle, if I’m slow, I hit all positions and I’m able to create tension and torque.”
Although track and field measures his individual outcomes in rankings in order to advance in competition and continue to place higher, he acknowledges that his team’s efforts are also a crucial part in where they all rank together and how they move forward.
“It really is a team effort, and I value my teammates,” he said. “I value their hard work and dedication, and without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
His dedication this season awarded him the 2022 Men’s Shot Put CCAA champion title this past weekend with a winning mark of 16.04m.