Bear Cubs have a major test ahead of them

Brenna Thompson, Copy Editor

The 2014 Santa Rosa Junior College track and field team has had a relatively strong season so far, but its athletes are still gearing up for the challenges to come. In less than a week, the team will head south to Cupertino for a competition that will determine the success of their season.

Said head coach David Wellman: “Our biggest goal is to improve off of what we did last year. Last year we sent 14 people to the NorCal meet and seven to the state meet; this year we want to get more people there.”

The NorCal meet Wellman is referring to is the California Community College Athletic Association NorCal Track and Field Championships, an annual competition held in different community colleges throughout the state. This year’s host is De Anza College, located in Cupertino.

“NorCal is the most important meet to us right now – it’s the meet where you qualify for state. If you end up in the top six for an event and you meet the standards, you get to go to state,” Wellman said. “We plan all of our workouts around NorCal so that our athletes peak at that meet.”

Having a solid set of state-level competitors is within reach for the team this year, which becomes more impressive when considering the average age of the athletes. Overall, the 2014 Bear Cubs track and field team is dominated by a much younger set. “Ninety percent of this team is freshmen,” Wellman said of his team.

Some are not as confident in the young team’s abilities to take on the season’s meets. “I honestly think it’ll be a better team next year,” said freshman runner Sean Bacca, 21. “There are a lot of freshman: I’m one of them. I just think we need more experience.”

According to Bacca, several injuries have plagued the team. Despite the setbacks, the Bear Cubs now head into NorCal on May 2 with their heads held high and their hopes even higher. “Everyone has been working so hard,” Wellman said. “They’re doing really well… better than you would expect.”