For the first time in six years, De Anza will not host any home meets for the track and field team. Construction on the track, which was originally supposed to be finished in December, now may not be done until April.
Head coach Nick Mattis discussed the various ways the team has been affected.
“The meets we have to go to are really far away and expensive and kind of limited, so it affects people that normally get their feet wet at some easy meets here now are either not going to be able to compete at some of those bigger meets cause they don’t qualify,” Mattis said.
A few of the home meets have been relocated to various cities, including Salinas, Yuba, and Chico, (the latter of) which will have to be an overnight trip.
Mattis also went on to explain that the home meets also act as fundraisers which help pay for various aspects of travel including charter buses. It is unclear where
these funds will now come from.
“We’ve probably lost about ten grand from the four home meets that we were supposed to have,” Mattis said.
To make matters worse, seven sophomores from last year’s two-time defending conference championship women’s team have quit.
The women’s team is now comprised of twelve members, the smallest women’s team Mattis has ever coached.
Despite losses in both the men and women’s team, Mattis believes the men will still be favored to win the coast conference as they did last season.
Last season was also the first time in De Anza’s history where both the men and women’s team won a conference meet.
The women’s team was ranked third in Northern California.
When asked to comment on the new team members, returning sprinter Marc Calopez said: “There’s a lot of raw talent here, but there’s also a lot of new people that need to start working back (into) shape.”
One of the few returning sophomores, Kim Nguyen, discussed the team’s practices.
“Practice has been OK,” Nguyen said. “I feel like I’m still out of shape, so getting back into shape is kind of rough, but the team seems cool, and everything else seems to be getting along.”
Both Mattis and Nguyen mentioned the disappointment of not being able to invite their friends and family to watch them compete on campus.
Mattis closed by explaining that he doesn’t like to make too many predictions since he’s a little superstitious, but that again, he thinks that the men’s team is favored to win their conference, and that it’s up to them to continue to work hard, stay healthy, and remain eligible so that they can be a team challenging for wins week-to-week in every meet they compete in.