The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

The student news site of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington

The Clipper

Trojans Track hurdling expectations with confidence

John Blair
Denna Gibb may be known for her javelin success, but she also holds a 13.76 mark for the 100 meter dash.

With spring quarter comes sunny weather and blooming flowers across the Pacific Northwest. For the EvCC Trojans track team, it also comes with the sound of starting pistols and the pride of podium finishes.

Everett Memorial Stadium has been the host site for EvCC’s track team, an up-and-coming unit boasting several top ten athletes in the conference (NWAC) at their respective events. Coaching changes and cold weather haven’t slowed the team down–in fact, they’re ahead of the game.

Competition began in early March, but the team has been holding practices since October while participating in indoor meets over the winter, setting themselves up for success with an early start.

Assistant coach Iayanah Brewer, EvCC’s Women’s Track Athlete of the Year in 2023, attests to how the extra practice has given the team a leg up from last year.

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“We’re developed in a way we are supposed to, the indoor season has given us more time to prepare, gets us more organized,” Brewer said.

The extra practice has allowed the team to transition into a track environment smoothly, but any outdoor event in Washington presents its own challenges. “I could count on my hand the times we have had nice track weather this season,” said Head Coach Lance Giles.

While bad weather complicates throws and sprints, Giles finds the difficult conditions to be a positive for the team.

“We’ve been training through crazy weather. We don’t panic in bad weather meets because we practice in bad weather.”

Giles is entering his first full season with EvCC, formerly working with both Spokane Community College and Pacific University. (John Blair )

The results certainly haven’t indicated any panic from the Trojans. In fact, they’ve shown just how hard the team has worked the past few months.

Denna Gibb is one of several athletes whose name is found among the top in NWAC standings. The sophomore thrower currently holds second place in the conference for javelin. She brought her mark to 132’ 11” at the Pacific Open, separating her from third place in the NWAC by over 5 feet.

Gibb wasn’t the only second-year star to put their name high on the leaderboard. Stud sophomore Khalil Gilbert ran his way to third place in the NWAC conference for the 400 meter race, notching a time of 49.22 seconds during the L&C Larry Byerly Invite.

He brought that fuel into the Trojan’s 4×4 relay as well, running the first lap and helping the team earn fourth place among NWAC teams. Gilbert has found track has helped fuel another love of his; basketball.

“Track helps basketball a ton. It differs from basketball, track is more individual. It helps build confidence when you’re in an individual sport,” Gilbert said.

Despite the NWAC regionals being less than a month away, the team still has several meets to travel to before the championships at Mount Hood Community College, including another trip to Oregon at the beginning of May.

Khalil Gilbert also holds 9th in the NWAC for the 200, running the race in 22.70 seconds. (John Blair)

The key component for the team’s success during this gauntlet? Confidence. Referencing the New York Giants’ former head coach Bill Parcells and legendary defensive tackle Lawrence Taylor, Giles described what he wanted his team to understand about the importance of the attribute..

“When Parcells described Lawrence, he said he played with the confidence of his demonstrated ability. He was confident he was able to get six sacks in a game because he had demonstrated that he could do it. That’s the whole mindset,” Giles said.

Gilbert agreed with Coach Giles’ emphasis on confidence, adding, “confidence isn’t something you just have, it’s an ability you get knowing how much work you put in.”

With confidence comes work ethic, another quality Coach Giles holds in high regard. He tells his sprinters to jog back after their workouts and has throwers run sprints alongside them. He spoke on how he hopes the team takes his efforts to demonstrate work ethic to heart.

“They need to do more than they need to do, be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Embrace the pain.”

Sophia Mackenzie, sophomore discus and hammer thrower, emphasized how Giles has pushed his team to work hard.

“He really values ethic, his expectation for us is to put in the work. He prioritizes us working first and locking in so we can be on the same page.”

The team will stay local this weekend, traveling to Western Washington for their final meet of the month. Regionals are on May 12 at Olympic College in Bremerton, with the Trojans poised to send as many athletes to the championship as possible.

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About the Contributor
AJ Barrett
AJ Barrett, Staff Reporter
What interests you about journalism? The pursuit of knowledge. Being a journalist allows me to go into brand new situations, meet all kinds of people and expand my worldview greatly. Working on stories gives me the excuse to learn more about the amazing world around us. What brought you to the Clipper? The Clipper provides an environment to learn the ethics and rules of journalism while applying it to a professional workplace, making it a perfect spot for me to grow in education and job experience. What is an issue or topic you are interested about? A passion I have had for a while is sportswriting. Sports may seem simple at first glance, but the memories it can create and the worlds it can bridge make it way more than just a game.

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