Track and field days away from much anticipated return


Chico State Sports Information

Track and Field thrower and captain Jorge Barajas

It has been two years since Chico State Track and Field held a home track meet. 

That will all change on March 18 when the team hosts its first invitational since 2020. 

The Wildcats broke the stadium back in over the past two weeks. The team held an intersquad meet on Saturday, and the previous week they hosted the Chico Multi-Event Classic, a preseason event with colleges such as Cal Poly Humboldt, Butte College and American River College competing. 

This year’s team is full of new faces who have yet to compete for Chico State, but senior high jumper and javelin member of the team Nadia Torkman said they are all hungry.

As an upperclassman, Torkman hopes to rekindle the team’s old culture for the new season. 

Senior javelin and high jumper Nadia Torkman. Photo from Chico State Sports Information.

“We spent 10 to 12 weeks in the fall together so that always helps a lot to get everyone integrated into what’s expected,” Torkman said. “We had people come in the fall and people come just a month ago but they have all been fitting in well.” 

Spring 2020 was Torkman’s senior year, but after being granted what every athlete has called the “COVID year.” She said there was still some unfinished business.

“This chapter of my life wasn’t closed, it feels like a second chance at my senior year so I am really just grateful,” Torkman said. 

Much like Barajas and Cummings, Torkman is anxious, excited and if there was an all of the above option, she would perhaps check that too. 

“A little bit of nerves is never a bad thing,” she said. 

An open road, a dirt trail or a treadmill on the highest speed were all places where any sprinter might have found themselves when their season was canceled. Additionally, because there was no real time table for returning, sophomore sprinter Colton Cummings said he along with everyone else expects there to be some rust. 

“At the time when it first started I was still staying in shape, but there came a certain point where things were looking pretty grim and you wonder what you’re staying in shape for,” Cummings said. “It always depends on the person but I did get stagnant there for a while.” 

Cummings knew things were looking up in Fall 2021. 

“With the indoor sports happening, it looked even better for us, it made us more excited seeing everyone do well in their sports after two years, and it made us want to get out here even more,” Cummings said. 

Sophomore sprinter Colton Cummings. Photo from Chico State Sports Information.

Sophomore thrower and captain Jorge Barajas said he helped out in any way he could have for the decathlon meet last week, just to see his teammates compete. 

“I was helping out all day for the meet, I just kept smiling because it was the first time in two years we got to see any of this,” Barajas said. 

Barajas smiled from ear-to-ear as he watched his teammates do warm up laps before Saturday’s intersquad meet. He said it was like practice with a little more of a competitive edge. 

Barajas described this season as the long-awaited return.

As a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Barajas said he has had to hear team after team give updates on their seasons, while he along with his fellow teammates had to watch from the sidelines. 

However, Barajas can begin giving updates on his team as the season is in their sights. 

The track and field team will begin their season this weekend on the road at Kim Duyst Invitational in Turlock and at UC Davis the following week for the Aggie Invitational. They will only host two meets this year at their own stadium, while all others will be on the road. 

Mason Tovani can be reached at [email protected].