University of La Verne’s Veronica Andrews defends her conference champion title in the high jump, after placing first in the javelin. The University’s track and field competed at Claremont’s Pomona-Pitzer despite the rain on Saturday.
In his 12 seasons at the helm of the University of La Verne track and field team, head coach Pat Widolff has seen many caliber teams grace the track and grass.
This season, the one he sees every day at practice is satisfying.
“We have a really small team, in numbers, but I really like everyone who’s out here,” Widolff said.
Widolff has several reasons to be satisfied, as both teams look toward competing in their respective fields.
The women’s team is looking forward to competing in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition to achieve a back-to-back championship.
Seniors Deonne McLean and Krystle Luckey were both participants in the 4x100 a year ago, which finished fifth in the Outdoor Championships.
Joining McLean and Luckey this season are Erica Holmes and Kristine Stokes.
Senior thrower Erica Pembleton and jumper Chelsea Sherier are looking to continue their success with the field’s team and help contribute the totality of team.
“We have a lot of depth and work well together,” Stokes said.
The men’s team is looking to recoup from the loss of Donte Witherspoon.
Junior Darnell Gilbert leads a new pack of sprinters as they try to improve from their season last year.
Gilbert was the leading runner in 100 and 200 meters, before succumbing to injuries.
Joining Gilbert in the sprinter aspect of the team are juniors Dwayne Griffiths and Melvin Ward, as well as senior Dustin Elliot.
In field events, sophomores Jonathan Fitzhugh and Wade Worthy will represent the men’s jumpers for the season and should be key assets to the team.
“I think we have a lot of talent,” Elliot said. “When we get at full strength, we would be great competitors.
ULV men’s team finished fifth last season in SCIAC, while the women’s team impressively took first in league play. Both teams’ expectations are running high, but they are taking small steps at a time.
“We just take it step by step,” Elliot commented. “We know SCIAC is around the corner, but we just keep working hard everyday.”
The ULV track and field teams will be in action Feb. 25 when they participate in the Rossi Relays being held at the Claremont Colleges.
Jonathan Smith can be reached at email@example.com.