Despite the unreasonable heat, athletes showed up to compete in various track and field events last weekend when PCC hosted the 72nd Pasadena Games.
Organized by track and field head coach Armand Crespo, the annual event was formerly for high schools only. However, the past couple of years has seen the Pasadena Games grow to include competitions for college athletes the day before high schools compete.
“We’re coming up to conference,” said Crespo, who emphasized the importance of having a practice meet. “It’s a shot for us to get in [the Mt. SAC relays].”
Athletes from varied community colleges and universities came to compete along with athletes who were unaffiliated.
“To have a home competition is very important,” said Crespo. “It was pretty good. We had a lot of personal bests.”
Among those who placed was Alexander McElwee, a freshman sprinter, who finished second overall for the men’s 100m and 200m dash.
“He ran a top 10 mark,” said Crespo reiterating McElwee’s times.
Another PCC athlete who exceled in track events was Vincent Ogbehi, a sophomore sprinter, who managed to place second overall for the men’s 400m dash with a time of 48.93.
However, for many athletes the heat was affecting their performances.
“I think the weather has hindered everyone’s performance,” said Shuo Yang, a freshman high jumper who placed third in the men’s high jump with a height of 1.85m. “We have potential to go farther as a team. We’ll do better next time.”
Despite PCC’s strong presence in track events, the men’s athletes for the field events did not fare as well.
Located at the California Institute for Technology, the events included discus, javelin, shot put, and hammer throw. Neither PCC’s men nor women throwers managed to place in the top 5 for any field event.
According to Crespo, despite a lack of a strong presence in the field events, the women did fairly well.
“ We were up there in most of the events,” Crespo said.
Taylor Matthews, a favorite for sprints, placed fifth in her heat for the women’s 100m dash and Kate Manzke, a sophomore distance runner, placed seventh for her heat in the women’s 1500m run.
“I felt as if all my hard work paid of today,” said Julia Sambvani, a freshman athlete, who placed first in her heat for the women’s 400m hurdles.
Nevertheless, Crespo wants his athletes to improve by the time the Mt. San Antonio Relays comes around.
“We did drop the baton in the 4X100,” said Crespo. “We’re still working on that.”
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