by David Klech
After a successful 2018 Track & Field season, the Banana Slug Women are ready to increase their presence both Regionally and Nationally during the 2019 season. After setting a School Record team-time for 5K during the Cross Country season and having the second best Regional finish in program history, expect the middle distance and distance Banana Slug Ladies to shine. The UC Santa Cruz freshman women are going to provide a lot of speed across the sprint events and excellent credentials to the expanding Track & Field roster.
Newcomers Sophia Cervantes-Llamas (Pleasant Hill, CA), Zoe Johnson (Tucson, AZ), and Chidinma Nwokocha (Sacramento, CA) look to become instant contributors in their debut season. Zoe and Chidinma bring instant speed to the short sprints and relays for Banana Slugs in 2019. After a stellar career at College Park High School, Sophia should make a push at the 400m School Record her freshman campaign and become a staple on the 1600m Relay.
Returners Nancy Alvarado-Zalvaleta, Natalie Marquardt, Abby McPhillips, and Melanie Wong will look to continue the success brought during the 2018 season. Already School Record Holders in the 1600m relay; Nancy, Natalie, and Abby will look to re-set the record book this season. Melanie Wong will look to re-set her current School Record in the 100m hurdles this season as well.
The Women of UC Santa Cruz look to springboard off their incredible 2018 Cross Country season to have the best Track & Field season in School History. Current Cross Country 6K and Track 10,000m School Record Holder, Shannon McClish, will look to re-establish herself as one of the best distance runners on the West Coast after studying abroad last spring. Sydney Gutierrez earned her first ever All-Region finish this fall, and will look to improve on her current 1500m School Record. Returners Raissa Boysen and Amelia Huster had huge breakthroughs this Cross Country season and should look to impress on the Track. Emmaline Fronczak, Sanjana Raman, Allie Louirm, and Abby Klein will provide key depth and look to make big jumps after great off-seasons.
Freshmen Anya Hynell-Cooper (Grass Valley, CA), Elana Muzzy (Auburn, CA), and Alyssa Anzalone (San Juan Capistrano, CA) look to make immediate impacts in the distance events. Anya and Elana both finished in the top 50 at the Division 3 NCAA West Regional Championships this fall, and have had tremendous off-seasons. Alyssa will be making her UC Santa Cruz debut this spring and should be ready to make an immediate impact.
The UC Santa Cruz Women will look to continue to build an elite Vertical Jumps program in the spring of 2018. In the High Jump, Sophomore School Record Holder Abby McPhillips will look to build on the success she had at the end of the 2018 season and become one of the top jumpers in the Region. Sophomore Clare Ahearn will look to consistently scale 10 ft this season in the Pole Vault and inch toward becoming the School Record holder.
Junior Jordynn Dorado enters the 2019 season as the top returning Shot Putter in the West Region and one of the top 25 returning Shot Putters in the Country. Her Discus credentials are just as stellar as she is one of the top returning discus throwers in the West as well. She became the first field-event athlete in School History to earn All-Region Honors and will look to add to her post-season accolades this year. After a breakout 2018 season and transformative offseason, Junior Gilly Davis is looking to break into the region's elite in the Discus this season.