September 22, 2023

With a team of distance runners transitioning from the cross country season to track season, California Baptist University’s men and women’s track team only have one goal in mind: Run fast.

With a team consisting of only distance runners, it may be impossible to win conference.

“It’s impossible to win conference because we’re missing so many events,” said Simon Bedard, junior business administration major and track athlete. “The goal is to win every single event (we compete in).”

Different from cross country season, where there is only one event on every meet, the team have a greater chance of winning meets, but during the track season the team’s main focus for the season is doing its best in each event.

“(The goal) in cross country is obviously to win the team championship and our women achieved that this year,” said Adam Cooke, assistant coach of track and cross country. “Come track season, our whole goal is for everybody to run as fast as they can and run faster than they ever have.”

Clocking times are also a big factor and motivation for the runners in this track season.

“For cross country its more about the placing, for track it’s about time and placing” aid Anett Somogyi, junior biology major and track athlete. “It depends on what are you going for, if you’re going for a championship you focus on placing but if you want to qualify for a race you have to clock a good time.”

Somgyi believes having a time to beat helps runners to focus more on themselves.

“I focus on myself and I do my best, it doesn’t matter who else is running,” said Somogyi.

Coming into the track season, the team will be racing in a few different events.

“Half the team might run the 5K, a couple of people might do the 10K and some are on the steeplechase,” Cooke said. “It will vary from meet to meet.”

The changes and the variety in events from the transition to track has not pushed the team to make any big changes in practice and preparation.

“The big event that’s different is the steeplechase because you are jumping over barriers, so we’ll do some steeple workouts later in the season and we’ll do some drills starting now for the steeple chasers,” Cooke said. “But as far as for the general workout right now, it’s all still pretty much together.”

The runners have started to work on speed in practice, preparing for the varied race events.

“We had our first speed workout (Feb. 5),” Somogyi said. “It was 12 times 200s, so it was it was still a lot.” 

The team is taking its marks and will start its season Feb. 23 in the Rossi Relays in Claremont, Calif.

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