March 12, 2012
FULLERTON, Cailf-- The TMC distance squad officially opened their season on Saturday March 10th, at the Ben Brown Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The evening’s distance carnival boasted eight heats of the 5000m, where the entire Mustang squad made an impressive appearance in seven of them.
Kicking-off to what promises to be the most successful track season for the Mustangs since the rebirth of the program in 2009, almost all of the fifteen TMC athletes ran a lifetime best of 5000m on the track. “To open up the season racing faster than you ever have in your life is always a good thing,” said Coach Schroeder. “There were quite a few of our athletes that would have liked to produce faster times, but you just can’t be disappointed with a PR, especially your first race of the season.”
The most notable performances of the evening were those of standouts Anthony Pizzo and John Gilbertson. After phenomenal showings in the cross country season, the duo earned NAIA All American Honors. Finishing 3rd (Gilbertson) and 5th (Pizzo) in the nation, the two men look to pick up the 2012 track season right where they left off. Racing hard from the gun, Pizzo and Gilbertson ran a strong effort, posting times of 14:10 and 14:11 respectively, the 3rd and 4th fastest times of the night. The duo’s marks qualified both athletes to the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships, and currently boast the top two times for 5000m posted on the NAIA National Performance List.
With the entire team achieving times within seconds of Coach Schroeder’s projections, the squad’s training over the winter appears to have paid off, setting the remainder of the season up nicely. The Mustang’s will be back in action March 15th and the 16th (9:00 & 10:00 am) where they will compete in the Cal Relays in Cerritos.