Track and Field team sprints into season with confidence2 min read

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Rajvir Kaur

With the start of the season just days away, both the men’s and women’s track and field teams of De Anza College plan to repeat history.
Last year, they made it to the state championships, a first for De Anza.
The teams are under the guidance of head coach Nicholas Mattis and assistant coaches Ray Cornell, Gordon Hovey, Al Hernandez, Angie Sandoval, Ted Green and Rachel Wells.
There are 32 returning athletes and 42 freshmen. Returning sophomores include Alexa Torres, Dominique Guinnane, Oddessy Tapia, Melissa Chaidez and Samantha Boulanger, all of whom competed in the 2012 California State Championships.
Torres placed tenth in the 10,000-meter run while Guinnane and Tapia came in third and fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Chaidez and Boulanger, along with former team member Ivy Gates, placed eighth in the 4 x 400 relay.
Before making its way to the state meets in 2012, the men’s team won the Norcal Championship while the women came in second.
Sophmore heptathlete Erin Fisher said she hope the women can come in first this season. She she does not expect the team’s goals to be affected even though there are fewer girls.
There are 29 women and 45 men in track and field, the biggest team that De Anza has ever had.
“We got options,” Mattis said. Referring to the large number of athletes, It’s just a matter of finding out where each athlete fits, he said
Sophomore thrower Mike Gutberlet said that after last year’s accomplishments, he expects nothing less from this season. The men could definitely win the conference again and though there is a shortage of female athletes he doesn’t expect that to matter, he said
“We have some really raw talent on our women’s team,” Gutberlet said.
Mattis said he hopes both the men and women will be able to win the conference titles this year.
The only weakness or obstacles that the teams face are problems with equipment and place to practice. Fields for practice opened just recently and some equipment has not arrived yet, Mattis said.
But with experienced returning players like sprinter Luke Williams and talented fresh faces, Mattis said he is looking forward to this season. He said he wants to see his freshmen athletes step up.
 New team members include freshmen Jesse Tran (thrower) and Jireal Hipol (jumper).
Track and Field’s first home meet is at 2 p.m. Saturday March 2.

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