The West Los Angeles College (WLAC) Wildcats men’s and women’s track and field teams had a successful season. The women’s 4x400m squad won the State Title. The entire women’s team won and the men’s team came in second in the 2023 Western States Conference (WSC) Championships.
The Wildcats were one of two schools in California that qualified for the state championships in both the men’s and women’s 4x100m and the 4x400m.
Jada Turner, who ran the second leg of the 4x400m, noted how the win gave the relay squad confidence that they can beat any team.
“Every leg gave everything they had, they didn’t give up; they didn’t just let anybody go past them,” Turner said. “Every time one of our teammates came around … we was ahead of everybody.”
Turner also won the 800m during the WSC championships with a time of 2:18.90. Chandler Smith ran the first leg of the 4x400m during the State Championships, she also competed in the 4x100m, 200m, and triple jump, coming in fourth place in the three events. She noted how mentality plays a key role in the 4x400m.
“You don’t want to let your team down in a 400 [relay], you can’t really think, you just have to go and just push through the pain,” Smith said. “That’s really my mindset, especially being first leg. If I don’t do a good job starting it off, then I’m giving more responsibility for my teammates to make up that distance.”
Heptathlete Angel Morris and two of her teammates competed in the heptathlon during a conference meet, completing all seven events in one day instead of the normal two. This disqualified Morris and her teammates from competing in the heptathlon in the Southern California championships.
“Me and my two other [heptathlon] teammates, we knew that we were going to place in the top five at least for SoCal,” Morris said. “That would have punched our ticket for State.”
Morris then focused on 110m hurdles and high jump; she came in second for both events in the WSC finals.
Hailey Adams became the WSC champion in the 100m and 200m events. In the CCCAA Southern California Championships, Adams became an All-American in the 200m and the 4x100m. She noted how the women’s team understood each other’s talents and capabilities early in the season.
“Us girls were set up and we walked in with a certain confidence,” Adams said. “We put it as our own goal that we’re winning conference. However we have to do it, we’re doing that.”
Alex Sweeney was named the 2022 WSC Track Athlete of the Year. He competed in the relays and hurdle events as well as the long jump and the 100m. He was always willing to compete in other events to help the men’s team score points during meets.
Sweeney enjoys competing in hurdling events because of how complex the events are.
“Most of the people in there who I run against, they are not as fast as me,” Sweeney said. “I feel like I have a better advantage over them with that, I just have to get the technique.”
Jordan Smith came in second in the 400m and sixth in the 200m during the State Championships.
The women’s 4x400m relay team broke the WSC championship record in their event and the men reached first place in three different events.