Indoor track gains momentum

(photo by Arthur Berthelin)
(photo by Arthur Berthelin)

The Colby Community College indoor track and field teams added more national qualifiers after competing in the Pitt State Invitational Jan. 26 in Pittsburg.

The women saw several improvements over the Jan. 19 meet at Northwest Missouri State.

Aileen Gurrola bettered her indoor 800m school record by two seconds and qualified for nationals in the mile (5:23.63).

Erika Alvarado (20:05.95), Brooke Navarro (19:30.44), and Mya Navarro (19:55.36) all ran lifetime bests in the 5000m. Brooke is just 10 seconds shy of qualifying for nationals after having to miss all of the cross country season due to an anemia diagnosis.

On the men's side, the Trojans jumped from eleventh to No. 7 in the national rankings.

Nehemiah Too took 13 seconds off his school record in the 3000-meter run, finishing in 8:13.73. He was second overall by fractions of a second to the University of Tulsa's Scott Beattie. Too is currently ranked No. 1 in NJCAA by over 12 seconds.

In the 800m, Mauro Arancibia qualified for nationals by running a 1:57.50. Caleb Carrasco was a national qualifier in the mile after winning his heat with a lifetime best 4:18.61.

The men's distance medley relay team of Wesley Banguria, Carrasco, Arthur Berthelin, and Too qualified with an overall third place finish. Their 10:17.04 is also the third fastest time in school history. The Trojans came all the way from 8th place when Too ran a 4:09 mile on the anchor leg to bring the team within a second of catching second place Pitt State at the line.

Tito Gonzalez ran a lifetime personal best in the 5000m (16:03.72).

CCC head track coach Cameron Rieth was optimistic after the second meet.

"It was much better than the first meet," he said. "This was a great meet to build on. It is exciting to see so much improvement in a week and many more qualifying times. Our goal this past week was to take a chance on ourselves, compete, and not to be afraid of failure. It worked out really well for most of us, and even for the ones that it didn't work out for, we still learned a lot about ourselves in the process. Improvement is contagious. Hard work is contagious. Our goal is to keep the momentum going!"

Both teams are back in action Friday at the Wichita State Invitational.