New Campus Sport Gives Outlet for Student Athletes
Track and Field has been around for centuries and is one of the oldest sports in existence. With roots that go back to the times of Ancient Greece, only the best athletes were selected and revered for their excellence. Fast forward centuries later, track and field has made its way to WCC. The college’s Athletic Director (AD), Mike Belfiore, has been excelling at sponsoring sports here by the addition of Men’s and Women’s Cross Country in 2016, bringing back Men’s and Women’s Basketball this year and now the addition of track and field.
Appointed as the head coach of the program, Taneisha Cantave provides a wealthy dose of coaching and athletic experience to the team. Being a two-sport student athlete in volleyball and track and field, she has earned multiple accolades in high school and college, showcasing her athletic prowess.
“Track and field means everything to me, when I run I’m so focused that this is the only thing on my mind. It’s an escape from reality.” – Mia Colon, Member of Track and Field
“I am excited to be announced as the Head Woman’s and Men’s coach for the upcoming season,” said Cantave. “Track and Field has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I can’t wait to share my knowledge of the sport I love with the athletes this spring.”
Her coaching experiences started out as head coach of the Girls’ Volleyball team at Woodlands High school, while having stints as an assistant at Nyack College, Sacred Heart University and most recently at WCC.
Speaking with Mia Colon, a member of the new program, she was visibly excited as she spoke about track and field. Colon is a long-distance and middle distance runner and has been a part of this sport since her sophomore year of high school.
“Track and field means everything to me, when I run I’m so focused that this is the only thing on my mind. It’s an escape from reality,” Colon said with a smile.
With a sport that has had so many great athletes and participants, one would expect to hear Carl Lewis or Jesse Owens come out of Colon’s mouth when asked about her role model in the sport, however she said it was one of her friends who is also a part of the Track and Field program along with Cross Country and has been to city championships and the hard to reach national championship for Cross Country.
“The team are like my brothers and sisters and the coaches are like my parents,” Colon said.
Mike Spinner, the assistant AD of WCC, it’s clear how much he, and the rest of the athletic staff, values the student athletes and the high expectations they hold for each program.
“Mike Belfiore is a former track and field coach so this was also an exciting opportunity for the college, and was happy to see the student body very involved, and their enthusiasm towards the new program,” Spinner said.
Spinner demonstrates dedication, as he donned a full WCC attire from the baseball cap down to the sweatpants, and he expressed how the adverse weather have delayed the team to get started since it is a spring season sport. However, the team is participating in four events and the athletic staff has a bright outlook for the program’s chances of success.