Hayden Lester, Contributing Writer
Here at BCC, intercollegiate sports are a large part of campus life. As an academic institution, BCC highly values its athletics department, providing 13 different spring, winter and fall sports opportunities for students, such as soccer, wrestling, volleyball and more.
Of these 13 options, the upcoming spring season sports include baseball, softball and men and women’s track and field teams.
Track and field sports involve tests of running, jumping and throwing abilities, including events such as middle- and long-distance sprints, racewalking and hurdling.
The track and field teams at Bergen are specifically known for being quite strong, especially in the last two years. This is exemplified by student-athlete Allison Bryan, who won the Heptathlon Championship in the 2019 NJCAA Track and Field National Tournament, hot on the heels of winning the 2018 Heptathlon Championship at the same tournament the previous year.
These wins made history for Bergen, as Bryan is the first-ever female athlete at Bergen to earn back-to-back national championships in track and field.
The Bulldogs look to carry that recent success into the new season with a mix of new and returning athletes.
The track and field teams are coached by Head Coach Erika Czjiko, Head Coach Edgar Aguilar and Assistant Coach Anthony Vaughn.
This coaching staff is comprised of celebrated and experienced BCC student-athletes and alumni. Coach Czjiko is a member of the Garfield High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the holder of the NJCAA Track & Field All-American (and BCC school record holder) in women’s shot put from spring of 1998.
Coach Aguilar is similarly experienced, having earned 1st Team All-Region and October 2014 Student-Athlete of the Month while participating in both Cross Country and Track & Field in the 2013-2014 seasons.
Both teams are gearing up for what should be a tremendous season. The teams’ first meets are on Saturday, Mar. 21, against Wagner College. The next meet will take place the following Friday, Mar. 27, against Ramapo College.
The teams will have a meet fairly regularly until their last meet of the season on Saturday, May 9.
This season is shaping up to be an exciting one and our athletes need all the support they can get. Students who are interested can find the track and field team’s full schedule on the BCC athletics website. Scores, and team news, as well as social media updates, can be found on the teams’ official Instagram @bergenathletics.