This team is running places!
The women’s track and field team at Kingsborough Community College repeated as national champions this year. And taking the top prize was even more satisfying the second time around, because the squad lost so many athletes to four-year schools following its 2017 victory, according to the team’s coach.
“It’s a really good feeling as a coach and former athlete,” said Dave Loobie. “I understand what it takes to get to that level.”
Kingsborough’s women’s team ran to glory up in Utica on Saturday, at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III outdoor track and field championships. And although the ladies maintained their place atop the division for another year, their fellow athletes on the community college’s men’s team only managed a third-place finish at the recent championships, where they also placed first in 2017, due to several runners’ injuries.
Continued success is a challenge for the school, according to Loobie, because runners only stay for two years before going on to four-year institutions, which is why the team’s leaders coach their athletes to give it their all each time they step on the oval.
“We stress that every point counts,” he said. “The championship is won by one point sometimes. We lost a district championship by one point before.”
This year, sophomore Shantal Rouse’s performance in particular helped carry the women to victory, Loobie said. She won the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter races, and the long jump, in addition to running for some of the relay teams — victories she attributed to the way she is coached.
“It’s the kind of training we do daily,” she said. “We do multiple events.”
Rouse is currently weighing which offer to take from universities next year, and Loobie said that his star runner training for several exhausting events embodies the sacrifices the girls make for their teammates — and the title of champions.
“You can just focus on two events, on individual performance,” he said. “But for the championship, the focus is on the team. It’s all about what’s best for the team.”