The track and field team is having one of the better seasons of any PCC sports team this semester, but lately it’s been the athletes who throw barbaric objects through the air for distance who are turning heads.
“This team definitely has the potential to go to the state championships and place well,” throwing coach Caleb Wood said. “What they have done the past few weeks is impressive.”
The throwing team placed in five events last week at the 71st annual Pasadena Games, getting two first places, two seconds and a third . A big part of that success has come from being a tight-knit group.
“It really helps when you know your team has your back,” said Nathan Wolitarsky, who specializes in the shot put. “With the way this team is, we have a really great chance of making it to the championships and placing well in the events there.”
The throwing team is composed of Wolitarsky, Yvette Bastidas and Bianca Addison. Bastidas and Addison specialize in the Discus throw; however, Bastidas has shown to be versatile in the shot put and javelin.
Bastidas has placed five times in the past two track and field meets alone. After placing at events, Bastidas doesn’t let her motivation die there.
“I’m always striding to break my personal records,” Bastidas said. “In this sport, your worst enemy is yourself, and that’s who you are competing against. I want to break my personal record discus at the next event and practicing with my team will help me achieve that goal.”
Wolitarsky said that a lot of time goes into the sport, with athletes having to stay fit and focused.
“The technique that goes into each throwing sport is insane,” Wolitarsky said. “People look at us and think it’s easy. But the footwork is tough to learn for shot put and discus. We put in five days a week for practicing and weight lifting. Not just anyone can do what we do.”
Addison said that the season started out with some uncertainty in the air, not knowing if they would have a coach or not to help them improve. She said that Wood was one of the biggest reasons for why the team was doing so well.
“[Wood] has a ton of experience,” Addison said. “With the experience he brings, he helps us all. I’ve improved a lot under him.”
Wood said that he was grateful that head coach Cedric Hill asked him to help coach the throwing team.
“This group is like a family,” Wood said. “They are so positive, which is exactly what you need in this sport. The team this season seems more dedicated than past teams. I believe in them.”
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