The Track and Field season has barely begun and our Vanguard Lions are already breaking records, winning races, and qualifying for indoor nationals. The team is not wasting any time and after just two meets the season they have already accomplished so much.
“Our season is off to a great start and I’m thrilled at what we’ve seen from our athletes so far. We have a high standard in our program, so the early success doesn’t come as too big of a surprise.” Head Coach Bryce Wilkins said.
Two freshmen, Kiana Davis and Jordan Davidson, haven’t taken long to adjust to this high standard and have already had great success. Davis jumped 37’3 and ¾, breaking the all-time school record for the triple jump and taking the third best jump to date in the NAIA. Davidson, after completing her senior year in soccer, thought she would try her hand in track and has gotten several first place prizes. Her 60m time of 7.65 broke the school record and is currently ranked 6th in the NAIA.
The 4×400 relay team, which includes freshman Davidson and juniors Joi Goynes, Marlene Estele, and Kapree Nelson, were able to run a qualifying time in their second meet. Nelson also ran in the 400m race getting a time of 58.34, earning herself an automatic bid to nationals.
Davidson says, “I’m really excited for the season. Coming in and being new, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it has already been a great experience and qualifying for nationals is awesome, especially with the group of girls who are going as well.”
On the men’s side, junior Josh Espinoza set a personal record in the first meet of the season and qualified for NAIA Indoor Nationals with a time of 2:29.15 in the men’s 1,000 meter run. Espinoza has also ran a 4:16 mile to qualify for his second event for Indoor Nationals.
Wilkins said, “We’ve set some lofty goals for the number of school records and national qualifiers we’d like to have. We feel we’re on track but have a long way to go. This team has the potential to be one of the best in school history. Our athletes are motivated and working hard. What also makes this team special is that they truly care about one another and are a family. We’re having fun together, but holding each other accountable in our commitment to excellence.”
With the continuation of their hard work and commitment it seems this season will be filled with many more first prizes and qualifying times, throws, and jumps.
The commitment to excellence mixed with a team that is more like a family is the perfect recipe for success and that is just what our Track and Field Team has shown.
Vanguard Track and Field competes next at Westmont College on Saturday, February 8.