Program adds 2 assistant coaches

Tyler Graham

Three athletes who went to State Championships last year will be returning to take a leadership role on the 2014 squad.

Lizzy Thomas ’14, Alex Florent ’15 and Courtney Corrin ’16 represented last year’s squad at State Championships, and have big plans for the upcoming season, which officially started this week.

Coming off an unprecedentedly decorated offseason, Corrin will aim to step into a leadership role in the 2014 season.

Along with being the reigning Big Red Female Athlete of the Year, Corrin was named Athlete of the Year by the Los Angeles Daily News for girls’ track. The attention Corrin has been receiving began  after she won State and the New Balance National Outdoor championships in her freshman season, both in long jump. Corrin currently holds the national freshman long jump record with a jump of 21 feet even.

“We definitely expect Corrin to take a leadership role on the team even though she is just a sophomore,” long jumper and triple jumper Cole Fletcher ’15 said. “Based on what she has already done and the work ethic that she has showed we all expect her to have a big year.”

Thomas went to State after placing seventh in the girls’ 3200-meter race at CIF Masters. The week before Masters, Thomas placed fourth at Mission League Finals. Thomas starred on the cross-country team in the fall, finishing 20th overall at state finals last season.

Florent capped off her 2013 season with a second place finish for girls’ high jump at State Championships. Florent currently holds the school record for girls’ high jump.

“Everyone is eager to start the season,” Fletcher said. “After many weeks of training everyone is excited to see what they can do or how much they have improved from last year. Personally I want to see if I will be able to improve in the long jump.”

Two new coaches were hired to help fill the void after Johanna Hayes left the program to coach at UCLA.

Olympic medalists Tasha Danvers and Shawn Crawford will fill out the coaching staff, joining two-time Olympic gold medal winner Felix Sanchez. The new coaches will coach sprints and hurdles.

“It’s very nice having such winning coaches,” Jamie Skaggs ’15 said. “All of them attended the Olympics, and all of them have experienced being the best. We really are getting the best coaching in Southern California.”

Both the boys’ and girls’ track and field teams will open up their season at Crespi High School March 6, with the boys’ team facing Crespi and the girls’ team facing Louisville.