by Enrique Gutiérrez
Seniors Ordell Williams and Eboni White led the way for the University of La Verne track and field teams as they took fifth place in the Conference Championships on Monday at Occidental College.
Both the men’s and women’s squads finished in fifth place at the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championships. The men’s team ended with 58 points, while the women’s team obtained 37 total points. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps dominated both categories getting 195 and 222 points, respectively.
Williams won the long jump competition with a mark of 22’09.25 feet. Teammate Brandon Jones, sophomore, jumped 22’02.25 ft to take the second place.
“I gave everything I got and I got second,” Jones said.
In the women’s side, White conquered the discus throw. A 138’11.00 ft throw gave her the win superating her closest challenger by over 13 ft.
“I had struggled a lot last year because of family and personal problems and I knew that this year was going to be a hard season,” White said.
“I felt that I actually worked hard enough this season to get myself up to where I was,” she said.
Her hard work showed up in the shotput as well, as she finished in third place.
“We did good as a team with the amount of people we had,” said White. “We had good individuals, but we had so few and all the other schools had a lot.”
Coach Pat Widolff agreed with White and said he was content with the performance of his team, given the small number of members it has.
“They did a really, really good job at conference in the events we had somebody,” Widolff said, “but in a lot of events we didn’t have anybody.”
He was also excited because 11 Leopards made the All-Conference selection, six men and five women. Nine of them are going to the State Meet that will take place this weekend at UC San Diego.
“They have to be in the top 25 in the state to qualify for Nationals,” Widolff said.
“I feel really good about this season, I know I can throw better, so I will go try to,” White said. “I’m ranked in the middle. I’m not quite at the bottom and I’m not at the top.”
“I’m pretty sure I’ll go to Nationals,” said Jones who also finished second in the triple jump at the Conference Championships.
Besides Jones and Williams, seniors Sean Smith and Roman Holston, and sophomores Nathan Swift and Andre Ike were named to the All-Conference selection.
Smith finished second in the shotput and sixth in the discus throw.
Ike cleared the 6’04.00 ft. mark in the high jump. His effort gave him the second place in that event.
Holston and Swift are members, along with Williams and Ike, of the 4x400m relay team. Consisting of Holston, Swift, Williams and Jones, the 4x100m relay team finished second at the Conference Meet stopping the clock at 42.98 seconds.
“There is a good relationship between our team. We work hard together and motivate each other,” said Jones.
Accompanying White in the women’s All-Conference team are junior Maxine Mitchell, sophomore Nichelle Moses, and freshmen Akilah Nyerere and Diane Williams.
They compound the 4x100m relay team that got third place with a time of 52.20 seconds.
In addition to the State Meet, the team still has three more meets before the Nationals. The Nationals will be held in Ohio, May 20-22.