The track and field team opened its first SCIAC season at the Pomona-Pitzer All-Comers meet Saturday morning at Strehle Track.
Although the meet was non-scoring, assistant coach Brett Halvaks believes it was a much-needed experience for the Panthers’ young roster, which includes 13 freshmen.
“There are a lot of girls who haven’t run in a meet for a while. This weekend helped them get into that competing environment and mentality,” Halvaks said.
Despite the lack of a scoring system employed by most meets, many Panthers placed high in the final outcomes. Sophomore Jasmyn Domingues along with freshmen Jaemi Mansfield, Nicole Brait and Lauren Deats grabbed fifth in the 100-meter relay. With a time of 53.17, this young foursome is less than three seconds from cracking a school record.
Halvaks said the team performed well for the first meet, but acknowledges room for growth.
“We need to get used to competing with the big schools, which is a lot different than the intensity of everyday practice,” Halvaks said.
Deats also grabbed the seventh overall spot in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.07. Another Chapman 400-meter relay squad found themselves seventh overall in the finals with a time of 4:53.41. This group again included Deats, with the addition of freshman Charlie Truax, sophomore Chanelle Astrof and senior Peyton Collins.
Unlike the earlier track events, the Panthers struggled to hold their own on the field. Junior Ema Solarova was a standout for Chapman, earning a ninth rank in finals with a jump of 31-1. Sophomore Mia Montanile came in at 10th right behind Solarova in the triple jump, while senior Shannon Denney placed 12th in finals for shot put with a throw of 29-4 ¾.
With just one meet of the season under the young runners’ belts, Halvaks is hopeful for a quick flip.
“We want to put some good times up and beat some schools records this week,” Halvaks said.
Junior sprinter Kayla Health said the team is using the season’s opener to set sights on early goals.
“The upcoming meet is the only time we’re going to run certain relays, so we’re really focusing in on breaking school records right away,” Heath said.
Heath will look to crack the 400-meter relay, which holds a record time of 4:09.41. Other school relay records include the 800-meter relay at 10:46.53, the sprint medley at 1:56.21 and the extended sprint medley with a time of 4:40.41.
The Panthers will have the opportunity to break a bundle of school records Saturday at 10 a.m. as they venture to SCIAC foe Claremont for the Rossi Relays meet.
“Our goal is to break as many school records as possible and this weekend will be the perfect chance to do just that,” Collins said.