The following article is written by Brock Drazen, Athletic Director at Merritt College and Head Coach of the Merritt College Track & Field team, and is used by permission from an announcement sent to all Peralta employees on May 23, 2022.
Well, we have two state champions – Isela Ochoa in the 400 hurdles and Anthony Coleman in the 400m dash.
We also finished 2nd in state in both the 4x100m relay and the 4 x 400m relay and achieved 10 All-American designations by the CCCAA/NJCAA for coming in top 4 in the state. Finally, we finished 6th in the state as a team amongst 40 colleges represented. And the cycle has already begun for 2022-23 – recruiting, applying, registering, FAFSA, etc. The road to 2023 begins now!
Final story of the season and the lasting lesson I have gained from our students this year: Often after some big win, regarding the lack of celebration, you will hear pro athletes, college stars or coaches say things like "the job isn't done" or "we haven't achieved anything yet" or "we need to stay focused." I have probably fallen into this category many times – unable to find joy in the present moment because of concerns about some future time that may or may never come. But this year, we enjoyed the hell out of every small step toward the end goal. Our students worked hard and committed themselves to achieve success, but they loved celebrating along the way. And while I planned and plotted our end goals, I loved finding the joy in the journey without fear that it would somehow diminish our performances or opportunities. In fact, finding pleasures in the journey even when it was rough enhanced our success and created the right environment for everyone to flourish.
So, finding pleasure in the moment doesn't mean people can't excel at what they do. Conversely, it helps people get where they want to go. Because of the pandemic, people have questioned how they can better balance their work lives and many in Peralta have stepped back from previous lives pre-pandemic to "smell the flowers." I get it but I hope these emails have somehow helped people realize the garden is Peralta and there's much celebrating that needs to be done on our way to better times. Come to campus, come to graduation, and come be a part of college life again.
I thank you all for following our season and for your contributions to our students' lives!
Head Coach-Track & Field