A select group of Leopards competed in the Occidental Invitational on Friday and Saturday at the Bill Henry Track.
The University’s track and field team used this meet as a stepping stone into next weekend at Redlands.
The Leopards are also looking to best themselves and receive a bid to the national championship.
Looking ahead to the Redlands Last Chance meet, the Leopards are starting to hone in on their specialties while also reducing their weaknesses.
Sophomore distance runner Matthew Salas expressed his need to push harder when racing, with the coaching staff also taking the extra step to help him push that much harder.
“I need to take my final 300 or 350 meters faster because when you get to these speeds every single millisecond count, so if I don’t speed up for 10 meters it can throw me off completely,” Salas said. “Next thing you know I’m the next guy out of Nationals.”
Going into the final weeks leading into Nationals, the Leopards are on high alert because at any moment, athlete knocking at the door could knock them out of the top 22 athletes.
Senior Melissa Cerrillos is currently ranked fifteenth in the nation, giving her a bid for nationals in Geneva, Ohio, from May 23-25.
Cerrillos is on edge waiting for each and every athlete to see if they have beaten her, or did they put her in a comfortable seat for Nationals.
The Leopards looking to qualify for Nationals will compete Saturday and Sunday at the Redlands Last Chance Qualifier Meet.
This meet gives them a final opportunity to improve their times and compete in the NCAA Division III National Championship.