Busters head to NYC for indoor track nationals
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Garden City Community College indoor track head coach Ryan Turner is taking 12 Broncbusters to the NJCAA National Indoor Track Championships in New York City, which begins Friday at what Turner calls the Wrigley Field of indoor track sites — the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory.
"A lot of the most accomplished track athletes have competed there," Turner said in a telephone interview on Tuesday as his team was making the trek to New York. "It's just going to be an awesome experience for the kids."
The Buster men are coming off an unexpected fourth-place finish in the Region Vi meet on Feb. 21, as Turner noted that he could not find another area where the Busters could have improved on their 77.5 point total in the meet.
It's 10 to 15 points that Turner has his goals set on now at nationals for his 10-competitor men's squad.
Accruing 11 points as a team, historically at nationals, has placed teams in the top 20.
"If we can finish top 20 in the nation, that says a lot about us," Turner said about the the full track program that was re-instated this season.
The top eight finishers in each event score points, with first place scoring 10, second scoring eight, third six, fourth five and so on until eighth accrues one point.
Turner also opined that it's possible his team can get to 30 points, if all goes well, but, realistically, he's shooting for 10 to 15.
"I think we're prepared and everybody is ready to go," Turner said. "It's just a matter of getting them to the show now."
Sophomore Alfredo Lebron will be the headline, competing in five events for the Busters — the 600-, 800-, 1,000- and 3,000-meter runs, as well as the 4X800-meter relay, accompanied by Jose Zavala, Tyler Eddings and Blake McKinzie.
McKinzie will also compete in the 600.
Rounding out the men's team is Edward Simmons (60m, 200m), Jermaine Arthorlee (60m), Qhyle Elijah (200m, 400m, 600m), Odin Agbi (triple jump) and Aaron Vazquez and Dominique Sauls in the heptathlon.
For the women, Kiera Walton will compete in the high jump, while Kadijah Brown will take on the long jump.
The first event of the women's pentathlon — the 60-meter high hurdles — will begin the meet at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
The single track event preliminaries begin at 4 p.m. Friday.
The field event finals on Friday are the men's long jump, shot put, pole vault and high jump, and the women's pole vault, long jump and shot put.
Saturday's events begin with the men's 60-meter high hurdles for the pentathlon and the men's weight throw finals. The single event finals begin at 12:30 p.m. with the women's 4X800 relay.