Merritt Track & Field Wins 11 Gold Medals at Northern CA Championship

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 16, 2022

"Merritt came away from the 2022 Northern California Championship with 11 gold medals, 3 silver, 1 bronze, 3rd place overall as a team and10 state championship qualifiers into next weekend at Mt. San Antonio College. Incredibly, Merritt took golds in both the 4x100m relay and the 4x400m relay.How do I explain that 3rd place as a team overall was as valuable as gold in this championship meet? Quick story – the 4x400m relay was the last event of the day and the standings were so close for 3rd place overall that nearly every team in the race had a shot. There was only hardware (trophy/plaques) for the top three colleges and first and second had already been decided by American River and San Joaquin Delta respectively. Winning the 4x400m relay became the only way we could take the trophy. We were down 1 point to DVC (the favorite going into the relay, and they had beaten us at a conference two weeks ago in the same race), down 2 points to Modesto (always tough in the relay), down 2.5 points to De Anza, and only up 4 on San Mateo. You will see all those colleges in the video below, but we huddled up before that race – the whole team, not just the 4 guys – and we summarized our journey for the last 3 years whether they were at Merritt or in high school. We talked about our path as a team this season and how mighty they have become through preparation, competition against some of the best from around the country, and through supporting each other all the way to that moment – their moment. There was no way we were leaving that championship without the trophy!

Our team competed with such passion and enjoyed the success with such pleasure that I wished you all could have been there to experience it. That's what I hope these videos provide here--a window into a world outside of this crazy lunacy that is our real world these days. These are our kids showing off their inner strength and beauty, their determination, grit, teamwork, and burning desire to succeed.The grind never stops either. I was out at Hayward High all day Saturday at the Bayshore Track Championship recruiting students for next year and we will host the Oakland Athletic League Track and Field Championship this coming Tuesday and Wednesday at Merritt. If any of you have an interest in volunteering, please reach out to me.

I don't know what the state meet will bring. SoCal always has a weather advantage when it comes to the months of preparation for this event and Mt. San Antonio College is just a behemoth of a program. I can't see any way they lose the state title but, for us, the hardest part is over. We got there and we are going to leave it all on the track next weekend for each other, Merritt College, and the Peralta District. Let's do this!!"


To view Merritt College athletes in action, visit the MerrittTrackField YouTube channel here.

Tags: Merritt College, Athletics


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