Berkeley High track and field coach Darrell Hampton couldn’t decide which was more important between today’s East Bay Athletic League qualifiers and the Sacramento Meet of Champions. So he’s bringing his ’Jackets to both.
“We’re going to have to pull double-duty,” said Hampton, who admits the Sacramento meet is more prestigious, but did not want to give up on the EBAL – which the BHS girls are favored to win. “We’re looking to get everybody qualified for (next Saturday’s EBAL) finals, and improve on all our individual times.”
Since placing eighth in the 4x100 and 4x400 events at last weekend’s Penn Relays, Berkeley’s nationally known girls relay team has been trying to smooth out their handoffs, in preparation for this weekend’s competition. On Tuesday, the ’Jackets were slated to run their final dual meet of the year, against California High, but a broken water main forced a cancellation.
Hampton considers this weekend especially important, in light of a slow week of practice, at which the coach saw little improvement. According to Hampton, his top performers have become so accustomed to the spectacle of big meets, that their practice habits have suffered.
“I’m not very confident (right now), even in practice, the relay times were terrible (this week),” the coach said. “They’ve turned into meet performers. We’re still shaky on our handoffs – we’ve got to work on that (Saturday).”