This team is running places!
The women’s track and field team at Kingsborough Community College repeated as national champions Saturday. The team’s coach said it was extra satisfying winning again even after losing so many athletes to four-year schools following last year’s victory.
“It’s a really good feeling as a coach and former athlete,” said Dave Loobie. “I understand what it takes to get to that level.”
The women’s team at Kingsborough won the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III outdoor track and field championships on May 12 up in Utica. The team won the same event last year, as did the men’s team, although this year the men finished in third place, thanks several injuries. Continued success is a challenge for the school, since runner’s only stay for two years before going on to four-year institutions.
The coach said that the team’s close calls prepared the coaching staff to help the athletes finish strong this year.
“We stress that every point counts,” said Loobie. “The championship is won by one point sometimes. We lost a district championship by one point before.”
The team was particularly aided by sophomore Shantal Rouse’s performance. She won the 100, 200 and 400 meters races, and the long jump, in addition to running for some of the relay teams. Rouse said that succeeding in different events was what the team coached her to do.
“It’s the kind of training we do daily,” she said. “We do multiple events.”
Rouse is currently weighing which offer to take from universities next year. Loobie said that his star runner training for several exhausting events embodies the sacrifices the girls make for their teammates — and the championship.
“You can just focus on two events, on individual performance,” he said. “But for the championship, the focus is on the team. It’s all about what’s best for the team.”
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