By Tadzio Garcia
Jill Schmidt placed second in the high jump at the track and field state finals last week, while Shawnta Barnes placed fourth in the heptathlon.
As a result Barnes was awarded All-American status.
“The All-American award feels great, but I am just as excited about Jill’s results as well,” said Barnes.
Schmidt and Barnes led the Huskies to a 20th place finish. The Huskies scored 13 points at the state finals, more than all the points combined by East Los Angeles College women’s teams since 2001.
Schmidt and Barnes compete in the USA West Region SoCal Association Track and Field Championships at Mt. SAC Saturday, June 4, “with an opportunity to move to the nationals,” said assistant coach Louis Ramirez.
Schmidt ended her Husky track and field career with a high jump run that included an undefeated regular-season against community college competition, the first Husky South Coast Champion from the women’s team since 2003 and second place finishes at the SoCal and state championships.
The first-year track and field coaches were instrumental to the success of the season, which included former head coach Jason Tena-Encarnación and his assistants, Ramirez, David Loera, Enrique Zuniga and Steve Morales.
The entire women’s team, except for Schmidt, will return, while all but five men return for a more experienced team in 2012.
Ending their careers at ELAC from the men’s team include Alan Almaraz, Noel Barrera, Oliver Blanco, a Campus News member, Steve Gayton and Royal Walker.
“Our expectations next year are much higher and we will capitalize on what we built this year,’ said Tena-Encarnación.
Track coach’s tenure ends after one year
Track and Field head coach Jason Tena-Encarnación’s contract with East Los Angeles College was not renewed for another season. Athletic Director Al Cone stated that all ELAC coaches are on year-to-year contracts. “We decided to go in a different direction,” said Cone. The details of the separation were not available before press time.