Track and Field: Olympians in the Making


Ivy McClanahan, Cactus Writer

“The will to win means nothing, if you haven’t the will to prepare.” CAC’s track and field team demonstrates this quote everyday through training, meets, and their determination to never give up. Since the opening of CAC, 39 track and field athletes have gone on to compete in the Olympics, with more to surely follow.

In the 18 years since he’s been here, coach Tony Dougherty says this year’s team looks very promising, stating, “They are phenomenally talented, top to bottom.” With early signing just starting, two athletes have already declared national letters of intent to Universities, planning to start in Fall 2018. Ray Wells Jr. signed with Washington State for football, and Joshua Boateng signed with Oklahoma University for track and field. Coach Dougherty has no doubt more offers will be made as we get closer to spring.

Track and field has many different events, including sprints, jumps, and throws. Sprints are where athletes run as fast as they can with the distance ranging anywhere from 60 to 400 meters. Jumps include long, high, triple and pole vault, and throws include javelin, shot, discus, and hammer. These events are won by the athlete who reaches the greatest distance or height.

Track and field athletes have accomplished many achievements through their hard work. They won six national championships, three of which were women’s. The women’s team has a fierce record of going undefeated for the last 22 years at the regional championship. The men’s team follows their record, losing only one game at regionals in the last 34 years.

This year’s team consists of approximately 60 male and female athletes. Some of them traveled across the world to be here. Various countries are represented at CAC including, Ghana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, Scotland, South Africa, Kenya, and British Virgin Islands.

Why do all these exceptionally talented athletes decide to attend CAC? Coach Dougherty attributes this to the outstanding guidance and support offered here. He states, “Athletes come to CAC because they know they will graduate. With the help of counselors and coaches, they are able to successfully balance school and sports.” The same goes for his assistant coaches. Many of them have turned down Division I offers, choosing to stay at CAC instead, for the family environment in which decisions are made as a group.

The team has also been graced with a new track, which is set to be finished in the fall of next year. As such, there will be no home meets this year. Their first meet is January 20th that will be held at Pima College.