With one swift spring of the legs, Courtney Corrin ’16 took first place in the long jump competition, not only breaking her own school record but also the national girls’ freshman long jump record at the Mount San Antonio College Invitational on April 20.
At the Mt. SAC competitions, Efe Agege ’14 joined Corrin in the winner’s circle, taking first place in the girls’ triple jump. Alex Florent ’15 claimed third in the girls’ high jump.
For the boys, Akosa Ibekwe ’13 placed ninth in the triple jump, while Anton Beer ’14 and Jonathan Felker ’14 tied for 10th in the high jump competition. Ben Gaylord ’13 placed the highest for the boys, taking third in the boys’ pole-vaulting competition. Prior to the Invitational, Gaylord also set the pole-vaulting meet record in the Russell Cup on April 14.
Track and field program head Jonas Koolsbergen ’83 said he came out of the annual meet impressed by the Wolverines’ performance.
“We’re talking about tremendously talented athletes, with a great desire to perform at an excellent level, and a willingness to compete against absolutely anyone,” Koolsbergen said. “They come to big meets ready to perform.”
The freshman Corrin recorded a length of 20-feet, 11-inches, beating her previous school record, set at the Arcadia Invitational on April 6, by nine inches.
“I was frustrated at my first jump,” Corrin said. “Because I didn’t get the pop I wanted off the board.
“I knew on my second attempt that I had to relax and just have fun, which was when I jumped 20-11. I was happy because I exceeded my expectation, but my goal for this year is to win CIF and jump 21 feet. I know that takes time, so I’m being patient.”
In her first year on the varsity team, the freshman has compiled a long tally of accolades.
This season, Corrin has set school records in the long jump, the triple jump, and – along with Francesca Walker ’16, Shea Copeland ’15 and Imani Cook-Gist ’15 – the girls’ 4×100 meter relay. She has also set several meet records, including the Mt. SAC long jump record, and before that, records in the April 13 Russell Cup in all three of her events.
Even with her freshman year accomplishments, Corrin strives to reach a higher level in the weeks as well as years ahead.
“It’s unimaginable, but you’re only freshmen once in your lifetime, and what you do with that is up to you,” Corrin said. “I don’t just want to set records, although that’s great, but I want to make history, and that comes with hard work. It takes heart, hard work, and passion, but most of all, it takes enjoying the moment while never getting too comfortable, because there is always someone working harder. By the time I am a senior I want to jump over twenty-four feet, and my goal for this year is to jump, enjoy and hopefully win CIF.”
Koolsbergen believes that Corrin’s work ethic has been the key to making her name recurring in the record books.
“Courtney’s been spectacular so far this season,” Koolsbergen said. “She’s a special talent, but she works extremely hard to make sure that she maximizes her performance. There are people with talent who never manage to take advantage of it and utilize it, and so she does a great job of bringing out her very best to perform at an extraordinarily high level.”
With the annual invitational behind them, the varsity track and field teams now only have one meet remaining before entering the postseason.
The team will host Loyola and Marymount tomorrow at home before Mission League Preliminaries on April 30.
“It really was a great weekend, because you’re taking on an extremely excellent field at a meet like Mt. SAC,” Koolsbergen said. “It tells us that we’re ready [for the postseason ahead], and that we’re preparing ourselves to be in top form for the biggest championship meets. That’s exactly what we want to do.”
Approaching the postseason, the teams could face a bumpy road, as key runners face injury issues. Cook-Gist is out for the rest of the season, as is Garrett Robinson ’15, who clocked the fifth fastest time in the 400-meter race in CIF Division III last year.
According to Koolsbergen, Zita Biosah ’14 will fill in for Cook-Gist on the 4×100 meter relay team. Like Robinson, David Manahan ’14 may be unable to defend his CIF title this May due to injury struggles.
Despite the obstacles posed by these injuries, Koolsbergen maintains that the teams will remain resilient and will keep going.
“Whenever you deal with sports on a school level, or watch sports on television, injuries are part of it unfortunately, as are teams having to adjust,” Koolsbergen said.
“Members of the team having to take on new roles is a part of it, and so we’re definitely disappointed to not have all our pieces at full strength,” Koolsbergen said. “But we know we have to continue doing track and field the best that we can as we proceed through the season.”