With campus records, state titles, and an overall fifth place win, the track and field team finishes strong at the CCCAA State Championships

The track and field team ended its season with a long list of achievements at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19.

The team placed fifth as a whole in the championship, with two state championships and multiple EC record-breaking runs throughout the season.

“We had two individual state champions which is really good,” track and field coach Dean Lofgren said. “We’re fortunate when we have people qualify for the state championships. That’s a good year.”

The CCCAA Championships mark the pinnacle competition for the track and field season.

“That is the end of the season ultimate goal for competition,” Lofgren said. “The state championships is truly what we prepare for from a progression standpoint throughout the year.”

Standout players during the meet included Jasher Foster, who won the state championship in 110 meter hurdles. On top of this win, he also tied his time of 14.11, setting the all-time record for an El Camino student.

“He not only went undefeated for the state title, he also set a number of school records along the way. The last three consecutive weeks he has continued to set school records,” Lofgren said. “The state championships are really hard to do because he’s the state leader and all expectations are for you to win.”

Carson Bix, who ran undefeated throughout the entire season, won the state championship in the 1500 meter run with a time of 3 minutes and 54.58 seconds. He also came in second place in the 5000 meter run.

“The 1500 meter race is a race that’s three and a half to four minutes long. There’s a lot of room for things to go wrong tactically,” Lofgren said. “I would say he was superior to the field in many ways and just performed very well and ran away with that race for his first state title as a freshman.”

Qwintin Workman came in fourth place in the 400 meter hurdles despite tumbling on his first hurdle of the run. His time of 52.30 seconds won him eighth place in the ECC Top 10 List.

“He actually took a somersault after the first hurdle,” Lofgren said. “But he came out and moved into the number eight spot all time in our top 10 list historically, and that top 10 list is 70 years old so he did very well.”

Workman said that this semester on the El Camino track and field team stood apart from his previous years in track.

“It was one of the best that I’ve had in my five years of doing track. This has been a huge learning point because in high school, I never got to learn how to hurdle,” Workman said. “Having a coach that actually coaches me and likes me and cares about my race (means) a lot.”

Tyra Jackson, runner in the heptathlon, scored a sixth place finish in her run. Her point value of 3931 marked a personal best.

The men’s and women’s teams are combined in track, though they run in back-to-back races separately.

“We have a lot of good women at the conference and Southern California level,” Lofgren said. “But when you get to the state championship level, when it’s the best of the best, we didn’t have enough (women score at that level).”

Tate Curran, sophomore pole vaulter, who was expected to perform well at the championship, was unable to participate in the meet due to a bout of pneumonia that came on just days before the meet, Lofgren said.

“People ask us, ‘Oh gosh his points would have helped you if he had won.’ No, even if he would have won with ten points, we still would have been fifth place as a team, which is admirable,” Lofgren said “Fourth (place) was 14 points ahead of us. The one guy wouldn’t have helped us.”

Though some track and field members are going on to four-year universities this year, a large number of standout freshman will be returning to the team.

“We’re bringing back such a big group of freshman,” Lofgren said. “That’s a good sign, when you have so many good people returning.”

As for next season, assistant track and field coach Kevin Hughley thinks his familiarity with the returning players will help him as a coach.

“I’ll probably be a lot more familiar with the freshman,” Hughley said. “I can coach them (in a way) that will suit their needs better, but I think overall they were very good kids.”

Overall, both coaches expressed excitement for the upcoming track and field season.

“If we got a few (comebacks), that’s really good. If we get a lot, that’s tremendous,” Lofgren said. “Overall we had a really good year in track and field and we hope that we have another one. We always home we have another one. That’s the goal.”