By Lucas Almeida
City College’s track and field team has an excellent tradition of winning state championships; racking up five in the programs history, including a three-peat from 2004-2006. Unfortunately, the program hasn’t enjoyed as much success recently and is looking to break a streak of six straight unsuccessful seasons.
With fresh new talents joining the team and key returning athletes, such as Erica Williams and Victor Huguley, head coach Greg Bianchi expects to reach higher goals and perform better this season.
“I think we will definitely be one of the top teams in Nor Cal this year. We expect to be top-five in the coast conference and competitive at a state level,” said Biachi. “We had some success last year and the freshmen from last year have moved on and are definitely well seeded this year — Erica and Victor being the two key components of that.”
Just like in any sport, track and field requires arduous physical training and preparation to achieve outstanding results at the end of the season. Bianchi thinks being mentally prepared is just as important as being physically fit to compete at a high level.
“Coach Owyang and myself do a lot of work making sure that they stay focused on school so they can take care of what they need to do on their own,” said Bianchi.
Sophomore Erica Wiliams is more experienced this year and is ready to achieve her individual goals.
“Right now I feel like I’m at the highest point I’ve ever been mentally and physically,” said Williams. “My goal is to win state this year in the heptathlon and I want to do everything in my power to do so.”
William’s highest scores in the heptathlon are on the high jump and 100-meter hurdles. Last season she placed sixth in state and third in Nor Cal regionals in the heptathlon.
Another returning key athlete is long jumper Victor Huguley, who is aiming to break a long jump record and ultimately help the Rams achieve a winning season.
“Long jump is my best event and last year I jumped about 23 feet, this year I’m looking to jump 24, 25 feet,” said Huguley.
Individually, Huguley said he hopes to win state in the long jump and perform well in the 100 and 200-meter dash. Last year, Huguley placed 10th in state and sixth in Nor Cal regionals in the long jump.
After last season 18 athletes went on to four-year universities. The track and field department is looking to continue with their recent excellence this season, Bianchi said.
The Rams will take a road trip to San Mateo for the CSM Mini Meet Feb. 24. The meet starts at 12 p.m.