||Last Updated: Feb 4, 2015 - 12:35:55 PM
And then there were three.
The College of the Redwoods track and field team has been dwindled down to three remaining freshmen -- Kevin McTague (3,000-meter steeplechase), Nick Moran (long jump) and Colton Ross (pole vault) -- who will represent the Golden Valley Conference and CR at the NorCal Finals at De Anza College in Cupertino on Saturday.
The top finishers at the meet advance to the California State Championships the following weekend.
“I’m just really happy,” said CR’s fourth-year head coach Reed Elmore. “These guys are all freshmen and their at NorCals. They’ve already killed it, this is all just icing on the cake, but we want to go to state. That’s still the goal.”
The final step to the state finals won’t be an easy one.
To qualify, athletes must post a time or distance that meets the A-Standard in that event, while also finishing in the top-tier individually (top-six in the jumps and top-four in the distance).
For all three Corsairs, advancing to state will require setting a personal record.
“Each one of those guys could make it, but it’s going to take a good day,” Elmore said. “It’s all about execution.”
McTague, who advanced to the NorCal Finals at the GVC championships (and did not have to compete at the NorCal Trials last weekend), has had two weeks to prepare for Saturday’s meet.
McTague is currently ranked No. 3 in the steeplechase, but will need to make the A-Standard time of 9 minutes, 50 seconds to advance.
His previous best time was a 9:52 he posted earlier this season at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. He’ll need a 2-second PR and a top-four finish to move on.
“He’s just got to hit the mark keep his pace,” Elmore said. “He’s been killing it in the workouts.”
For both Ross and Moran, the challenge will be even greater.
Moran will need to PR by 6 inches in the long jump to clear 23 feet and meet the A-Standard, but will also need a top-six overall finish in an event with jumpers who are posting distances of 24 and 25 feet.
“Nick is in one of the tougher competitions, there are some monsters in that event,” Elmore said. “But he just has to go out and execute. At trials last week his last jump was his best, which means he’s getting more consistent, but he knows what it’s going to take.”
For Ross, who cleared 14-feet, 4-inches in the pole vault to finish fourth and advance to the NorCal Finals, he’ll also need a 6-inch PR to get over 14-10 to meet the A-Standard and will need a top-six overall finish to advance.
“Colton is coming off of an injury and has an outside shot, but the guy’s a competitor,” Elmore said. “He’s getting stronger and is moving to a bigger pole, which makes it a little bit of an unknown factor, but if he has a good
day he could do it.”
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