Isabelle Carreon's first award for her performance at the Beach Opener was her first career CCAA Women's Field Athlete of the Week award. | Courtesy of CPP Athletics

Isabelle Carreon earns back-to-back CCAA Field Athlete of the Week awards

By Dylan Long, March 26, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona pole vaulter Isabelle Carreon became the school’s first athlete to earn CCAA Field Athlete of the Week awards in back-to-back weeks since 2022.

Carreon took home her first CCAA award on March 5 after finishing second in the pole vault at the Beach Opener at Long Beach State with a mark of 3.70 meters. She then followed that up with a first-place finish at the Ben Brown Invitational and shattering the school record in pole vault at 3.83 meters.

Carreon’s pole vault numbers at the Ben Brown Invite also cemented her as the NCAA DII and CCAA leader in the event. The mark for Carreon is also an NCAA Provisional Qualifying Standard.

“Winning the awards has been very exciting for me but I would truly not be able to get them without the love and support of my team around me,” Carreon said. “It is all what comes from the bigger picture of being a part of this special group, the feeling of being a part of this team outweighs the joy I get from the individual awards.”

Carreon is currently an athletic junior at Cal Poly Pomona and a first-year master’s student. She wasn’t always exclusively a track and field athlete, however, as she additionally competed as a diver for the swim team at Liberty High School in Brentwood, California. In high school, she also garnered an all-league first-team selection in her senior year.

Carreon’s collegiate track and field journey started at Cal State Fullerton where she spent the first half of her career. In Carreon’s two seasons as a Titan, she won the pole vault at the “Battle in the OC” with a 3.66 clearance, ran a personal-best 13.81 in the 100-meter at the RCC Invitational and finished sixth in the pole vault at the MPSF Indoor Championships with a personal-best 3.67m clearance.

Transferring in college athletics can be a game of unknowns because of the volatility that the transfer portal has created. Carreon, however, is one the fortunate ones who has found a home that allows her to thrive.

The 2024 season marks the first for Carreon here at Cal Poly Pomona, and she attributes a lot of her early success to the fresh start in college as a Bronco.

“Transferring has been everything that I have needed in life both mentally and physically out on the field,” said Carreon. “The environment here at CPP is a growth environment that allows us to all grow as people and athletes. I could tell from my first visit here that Cal Poly Pomona was the place I wanted to be.”

Carreon’s achievement of winning back-to-back CCAA Field Athlete of the Week awards is something that has not been done in two years. The last CPP athlete to achieve this feat was Imani Williams, a jumper and sprinter for the Broncos.

Carreon attributed her success this season to a multitude of coaches and teammates and spoke heavily on the impact that track and field coach Chris Bradford has had on her.

“My pole vault coach, Coach Bradford has been so awesome working with me to help figure out this whole transfer process,” Carreon said. “He has made everything so easy for me and it has allowed me to be the best all-around athlete that I can be.”

Bradford is in his seventh year as the head coach of the cross-country and track and field programs at Cal Poly Pomona. Bradford came to Cal Poly Pomona with 14 years of coaching experience, spending eight seasons as the head track & field coach at Western State Colorado University where his team had 11 top ten finishes in the NCAA DII Championships.

Carreon and the other members of the CPP track and field team have had a great start to the season in 2024, and Carreon pointed out the special bond that they share as a team.

“Our entire track and field team as a whole has been such a supportive group to have, it feels like everybody has each other’s backs and that is such a special thing to have,” said Carreon. “Everybody cares about one another; The vaulters love to watch throws, and they love to watch the sprinters; you truly feel the family environment here and that is something that is not common everywhere.”

Despite the hot start, Carreon still has her sights set on her next goal that she hopes to achieve before the season end.

“My end outcome and ultimate goal is to be able to jump 4 meters, which is 13 feet,” Carreon said. “I have been chasing this goal for my entire college career and I know that if I can continue to push myself to get better than I can attain it when it is all said and done.”

Carreon and the rest of the CPP women’s track and field team look forward to keeping it rolling next week at the Stanford Invitational starting on Thursday, March 28.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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