Everything on the line at IVLs

May 09, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

Throughout this Imperial Valley League track and field season athletes have broken school records, broken league records, some have even put their names in the CIF San Diego Section record books.

But no matter how fast a runner has run, how far someone has jumped, everything that's happened has really been nothing more than practice for the IVL's final track and field meet today in Calexico.

Case in point:

The Southwest High girls track and field team had about as fine a season as anyone, winning a share of the league championship with Brawley Union and Calexico.


Southwest's Monica Gamboa and Jennifer Black went undefeated in their main events. Gamboa had a perfect league mark in the 400 and 800 meters and Black was unbeaten in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and high jump.

The Eagle boys also had their share of unbeatens with Doug Fulp in the 3,200, Garrett Bishop in the 1,600 and Devon Hood in the 800.

Despite how well all of those athletes did, it won't matter one bit unless they can go unbeaten at IVLs and qualify for the CIF San Diego Section postseason.

"There's a lot of pressure on you because everything that you've done all year comes down to what you do on one day," said Black, a 15-year-old sophomore. "There's pressure because you have to make those (qualifying) times or finish in the top two in your event."

As Black said, to qualify for CIF, an athlete must either make the set qualifying time or finish first or second in his or her event.

"It's a little depressing knowing it all comes down to one day. I mean, let's say you had a great year but then you have one bad day. Then your season's all over," said Black. "Really, just thinking about it, I'm just so excited and not really nervous at all."

Adding to the degree of difficulty for those competing in running events is Calexico's track. Unlike most tracks in the Valley, Calexico's is not all-weather. It is dirt, which is not as fast and makes it that much harder to meet qualifying times.

"I just gotta do what I gotta do," said Southwest freshman Rashauna Amos. "All that I've done during the year has prepared me for this meet. This is what I've been waiting for since the first meet of the season. So it really doesn't matter."

Amos and Gamboa, like many athletes competing at IVLs, will be competing in four events during the eight-hour event.

Amos will be running the 100 and 200 and Gamboa will run in the 400 and 800. The two will team as half of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

But preparing for a long day is part of what every athlete has been readying for throughout the season.

"It's going to be a tiring day, especially doing four events. But I'm just going to be resting as much as I can during the meet," said Gamboa, a sophomore.

Despite the condition of the track and the length of the day, all that matters are the final results.

"We're all going out there and we're going to do our best," said Amos. "For me I would be disappointed with anything less than first place. If I took third or fifth place in an event, I'd be concerned that there was something wrong with me. But we'll just see what happens."

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