Track and Field season preview: Bring it on


Mallory Graber

Maude Price warming up at practice.

Karina Alvarez- Calderon, Staff writer

The San Diego Mesa College Track and Field team officially kicks its season off on March 1 at California State University, San Marcos. Head coach Renee Ross, who has been coaching at Mesa since 2008 and who has over 30 years of coaching experience, feels strongly about getting her athletes competing at 4 year institutions.

“I try to take them to 4 year colleges as much as possible to give them exposure,” she said.

With the men being 4-peat conference champions, and the women being 3-peat champions, both are working hard toward another conference title this year. 90 athletes have been training for the season to come.

Captain, and phenomenal runner, Zach Kovack, 21, has been training hard for the 2014 season. Last season, his dedication took him all the way to the state championships where he competed in the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays with a time of 41.4 and 3:13 as a finalist.

“I would like to make it back to state like we did last year,” said Kovack about what he is hoping to get out of this season. He has trained hard to achieve his goals.

Along with Kovack, Captain Maude Price, 23, has taken the track by storm.

“I’ve always loved running and I ran cross country at city and they recommended I run track,” Price explained.

Qualifying for state, though, is what he hopes to accomplish. Price is a hard worker and will be looking to improve and making a difference this season as she will be attempting to become a heptathlete (competing in 7 events over 2 days).

“I power lift a lot and ran about 30 miles a week during off season,” said Price.

Coach Ross is proud of the hard work and dedication the team has put in to get to this point.

“We have a nice combination of returners, plus many brand new athletes out here. We have a well-balanced group: from throws, to distance, to hurdles, to sprints, to jumps,” she said.

Ross and the coaching staff like to concentrate in preparing the athletes by focusing on strengthening and preparing the body to peak at the right moment for the SoCal championships in May.

Coming off of winning championship after championship, Ross claims the Mesa track and field team is not “well liked,” obviously because they have been winning the titles.

“We are a team. I can tell you we work hard together. I have phenomenal coaches that dedicate their time and effort here to each one of these athletes. The best thing I’ve seen with these athletes this year that is different than some previous years is having as many as we have on the team that are all dedicated. So far, they’ve been very committed, which is great,” said Ross, before concluding that, “Whether or not they claim a conference title this year or not, the fact remains that they are going after it. And that takes a lot of work and effort. The effort part is key.”