By Lesly Velasco Guerra, May 10, 2022
Last weekend, CPP men’s and women’s track and field teams traveled north to Cox Stadium at San Francisco State for the CCAA Track and Field Championships, where both teams came out victorious, placing first out of 12 teams.
The men’s team totaled 277 points across all events, and the women’s earned 223 points, both reigning champions for the first time since 1998. Multiple athletes placed in the top three and received various awards. Following the championship win, the coaching staff and head coach Chris Bradford earned the CCAA Coach of the Year award.
“I couldn’t be more happy and more proud of them,” said Bradford. “Not just this weekend but what they have done all year to get here. Track and field is the weeks and the month and the years that you put in to one weekend and they have definitely done that.”
Bradford explained that going into the conference weekend, he was confident of the team’s abilities. Each event placed eight athletes. For first place the athletes earned 10 points, second earned eight, third earned six and five, four, three, two, one points were awarded as the rankings followed. Live results were posted after each event.
“As we kept moving forward, chances just kept getting better and better for us,” said Bradford
The men’s team dominated the conference, breaking Chico State’s winning streak. In the last 16 championship, Chico State has won 15 of them.
The Broncos came in first place in eight events: Aaaron May in discus, Alejandro Sandoval Guzman in shot put, Matteo Madrassi in pole vault, Kailen Smith in high jump, Alessio Sommacal in 110-meter hurdles, Ryan Fields in 400-meter hurdles and Joshua Johnson in the 100 and 200-meter sprint. Additionally, Johnson received the Track Athlete of the Meet award and May the Field Athlete of the Meet award.
Aside from placing first, the Bronco’s men team had multiple athletes placing within the top three including dominating all three places for one event. In discus, May placed first, Dom Navarrette -Perez second and Sandoval Guzman third place.
“I was amazed but at the same time I wasn’t really shocked,” said Johnson. “Throughout the whole year we were pretty much preparing for it and just really working as hard as we could in practice, trying to push ourselves. I know there were a lot of hard practices where some days I was wondering if we could do it or if I could perform. We pretty much just trusted the process and trusted our coaches and the results showed.”
Johnson beat his personal records in the 100m sprint, finishing in 10.43, and the 200m sprint, with 21.12. Johnson explained he wasn’t expecting to run that fast but hopes to continue bettering his times. He also described that although track can be a very competitive sports since it often comes down to individual scores, the team’s atmosphere was encouraging and positive.
The achievements also piled on the women’s side, conquering seven individual championship titles. CPP’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams came in first. Ayana Fields, who has been a reoccurring Athlete of the Week recipient, individually won the 100m, 200, and 400m sprints. She also won the CCAA High Point Award with 30 points and the Track Athlete of the Meet award. Ana Tovi took home first place in shot put and discus as well as the Field Athlete of the Meet award.
The CCAA’s Elite 13 Award, a special award given to individual athletes who have reached conference championship in their respective sport and have the highest academic standard, was given to sprinter Analexis Glaude.
Tovi described the conference championship weekend with mixed feelings. She is set to graduate this semester and is saddened that this will be one of her last times competing with the Broncos but is happy she ended it with a win. Tovi and many of her teammate nearly lost their voices from cheering at the conference championship.
“I lost my voice the second competition day and then after that second competition day almost everyone lost their voice,” explained Tovi. “When it got to that third day, everyone’s voice was gone, everyone was just screaming, not saying words just screaming. And when we were going to do our chant, some people’s voices just cracked, it was just funny.”
Along with the championship win, Bradford was awarded the CCAA Coach of the Year award. This award winner is selected via votes from the other coaches in the CCAA. Bradford expressed that although it is a coach of the year award, in reality it is a coaches of the year award because he couldn’t have done it without his coaching staff, including Wes Ashford, Darrell Smith Jr., Sara Macey and Joseph Blue.
CPP’s Track and field team will compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship from May 26 through May 28 in Allendale, Mich.
Featured image courtesy of CPP Athletics
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