Times Standard (Eureka)
’JACKS TO COMPETE AT ICONIC VENUE
After strong finish in Chico, Humboldt heads north to Hayward Field in Eugene
The Cal Poly Humboldt track and field team will get enjoy the experience of competing at historic Hayward Field this weekend as they head to Eugene for the Oregon Preview. The Lumberjacks will try to build on the success of their first two meets as they continue to brave the inclement weather.
Humboldt finished second out of eight teams this past weekend in Chico, although the field of teams only featured two Division II programs in Chico State and Humboldt. Besides NAIA competitor Simpson University, the other programs were all from the junior college level. Naturally, the Lumberjacks were able to take away several individual wins at the event.
Junior Joy Hano had two individual wins in the 100-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles, running times of 12.67 and 14.77 in the respective events. Junior Aris Valerio was the winner on the men’s side with a time of 1:54.85 in the 800-meter run.
“I went out there with a mindset of winning, and that’s what I did,” said Valerio. “So hopefully I continue to win in the 800, that’s kind of my goal is to be undefeated in it.”
The multi-faceted Grace Kasberger continued to have success as she finished with two top three finishes. The junior is looking forward to competing again at Hayward Field after running there during high school years in Oregon.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure even looking at the stands, even empty,” said Kasberger. “I haven’t been back since the remodel, so I’m curious to see what that looks like.”
Both Kasberger and coach Jamey Harris expressed some disappointment at the renovation, which lost some of the historical significance of the revered stadium.
“Hayward Field was a historic venue, now it’s a shiny new one,” said Harris. “I would argue that they threw away their history, but what’s super cool is for our student-athletes is to be competing in the venue that less than a year ago hosted the World Championships.”
With that esteemed reputation comes elite competition. There will be numerous teams competing in a variety of different heats at the event on Friday and Saturday, and the Lumberjacks will have
the chance to test themselves against elite competition from the Division I level. It represents a stark change from last week, when Humboldt and rival Chico were the relative giants in the field.
“It’s gonna be a good test,” said Harris. “Who’s ready for primetime?”
While the meet might have less relative significance in the scope of the season, it’s a chance for the team to test themselves in a high-profile pressure situation. The hope is that going through this experience can help prepare the team for conference championships, as well as potentially the NCAA regionals and beyond.
“Exposing that at this point in the season probably is a good thing,” added Harris. “Because then it’s something that we can work on and they can overcome when it comes to championships.”