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Alumni talent returns for annual meet

Ryan Grady

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pole vaulting 2

Katrina Rodriguez, a track and field alumna, pole vaults at the alumni meet.Photo credit: Emily Teague

Familiar faces filled Chico State’s track Saturday for its annual alumni meet.

It was a cold day, but that didn’t slow down any of the energy that was brought to the track. The day started off with head coach Oliver Hanf bringing everyone in for a team huddle and a slow clap, which brought the kind of atmosphere from a real meet.

The events started shortly after. The vibe out on the track was friendly, as everyone was there to have a good time and catch up with others.

Approximately 100 current and former athletes took part in the event.

Dan Armolea was a track standout during his time at Chico State, setting records in both the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.

Armolea set out to pursue television broadcasting, which he did for 12 years after graduating with a communications degree.

“It is fun to come out here and see teammates that I haven’t seen in 20 years,” Armolea said. “We are all a little family.”

The alumni have stayed in touch over Facebook, Armolea said.

There were many old-time greats that attended, as well as some recent stars out of the program.

Damaris Greer, last year’s anchor for the 4×1 relay team, also made an appearance. He competed in his events in addition to singing the National Anthem as the meet started.

“It is awesome to get back out here with these guys,” Greer said. “These kind of events are always fun.”

Greer did not slow down after he graduated last spring. He spends his time training at Hercules High School, where he strives to get better at the sport he loves.

“Training and staying consistent is very important,” Greer said.

The event was ran by the current Chico State men’s and women’s track and field team. Many team members said it was delightful to have the alumni so involved.

Brock Kraus, a junior sprinter, said he enjoyed seeing his coaches competing on the track.

“It was a lot of fun seeing Coach O, Beeman and Nooney out there competing in so many events,” Kraus said.

It is safe to say that this year’s alumni meet was a success. Many generations of Chico State track and field athletes made it a day to remember.

“The event went really well,” Kraus said. “It was nice to see the alumni athletes with such heart and passion working out there today.”

Ryan Grady can be reached at [email protected] or @RyanGrady23 on Twitter.

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Alumni talent returns for annual meet