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Van der Wyk Becomes 1st PCC Women's State Track Race Champion

Van der Wyk Becomes 1st PCC Women's State Track Race Champion image

For the first time in Pasadena City College women's track and field history, a Lancer athlete captured a state meet running event title on Saturday. Sophomore Tracee van der Wyk added a final award to her sensational, two-year PCC career by winning the 1,500 meters race at the 2011 CCCAA State Track and Field Championships held at Sacramento's American River College.

Van der Wyk's gold medal ended a 34-year drought in track races for PCC women's athletes at the state meet since sanctioned competition began for the gender in 1977. Her title is the first PCC state title in women's track and field in 10 years and fourth overall. The three previous Pasadena champions accomplished their wins in field events--PCC Hall of Famer Sarah Goodlaw, 1996 hammer throw; Amber Roberts, 1997 high jump; and Elizabeth Heskett, 2001 pole vault.

Like she accomplished in winning her second straight Southern California Championships' 1,500 title a week ago, van der Wyk once again outraced Orange Coast's Sara Toberty, who ran the nation's fastest community college time in the event earlier this season. Van der Wyk, whose fastest mark is second in the nation, ran a 4:36.67, a decisive 3.55 seconds better than Toberty's second place finish.

After being physically spent from capturing the 1,500 championship, van der Wyk would settle for ninth place in the 800 meters event. The PCC women's team mark of 10 points placed it 24th overall.

A graduate of Temple City High School, van der Wyk closes her PCC athletic career as the school's greatest cross country runner (highest PCC finishes ever at state, regional, and South Coast Conference meets--all second places). In track and field, she is a three-time, conference champion, two-time region champion, and now a state title holder. In 2011, she held the state's fastest time in the 10,000 meters, second fastest in both the 800 and 1,500, third fastest in the 3,000, and fifth fastest in the 5,000.

She was earlier named SCC Women's Track Athlete of the Year, a first by a PCC competitor since the school entered the South Coast in 1987.

[Photo--Tracee van der Wyk, seen here far right on her way to winning the SoCal title a week ago, captured the 1,500 meters title at the CCCAA State Championships Saturday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 05/22/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu