By Alan Montgomery
Blue Dragons track coach Pat Becher is ready to saddle up and bring his energetic gang of 19 young men and women to the NJCAA National Indoor shootout in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 5-7.
They are coming off of a campaign of indoor meets where many of the newbies were able to develop and shine.
“We are doing well,” Becher said. “We have a real young group here. We have 40-some freshmen, so indoor was something very new to them.”
The indoor tracks are much smaller, at 200 meters, he said.
“This means there have to be a lot of different strategies; it’s a lot tighter to run in. It’s noisy, everything is going on at the same time, like a three-ring circus, with people jumping and running everywhere. It is organized chaos.”
The freshmen athletes are adjusting and coming on strong right now, he said.
“I am pleased at where we are at right now, condition-wise. It is going to help us to have a real strong outdoor season.”
On the women’s side, Alex VanSickle, in shot-put and weight throw, is really doing well, ranked in top seven in the nation. The women throw an 8-pound shot and she has thrown over 43 feet.
Stormy Fuentes, about 8th in nation in pole vault, has gone 10’ 3”. Those two girls have best chance of scoring for HCC at a national level.
On the men’s side, “a whole bunch of guys” have a chance of doing well at the indoor nationals next week at Albuquerque.
“I have been through there, but not where we are going. I have 19 athletes qualified to go, men and women,” Becher said.