Erica Cabanos named GNAC athlete of the week

Sophomore triple jumper ties season best mark

Erica Cabanos begins her triple jump attempt

Jacob Thompson

Erica Cabanos begins her triple jump attempt

Jared Galanti, Sports Editor

After tying her season best mark in the triple jump at 11.15 meters and setting a personal best in the long jump with a 5.26 meter jump at the Whitworth Peace Invitational last Friday, sophomore Erica Cabanos was named Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s athlete of the week. 

Cabanos said being recognized for achievements shows that all of her hard work in practice is paying off. 

“It feels really good,” Cabanos said. “I feel that track is one of those sports where, if you don’t hit a certain mark [you get upset with yourself], but for me it’s kind of like a reassurance, that everything I’m doing is paying off in the end and all of the workouts in the snow and all the hard workouts are paying off.”

Cabanos said as a high schooler, track was more of a hobby because she primarily played volleyball. However, it was one of her future track teammates and coaches who convinced her to join the track team during her junior year. 

“In high school I had one of my school track teammates who did club track and her club coach came up to me,” Cabanos said. “He came up to me and said you’re too short to go anywhere [in volleyball]. Come train with me and I’ll get you a scholarship.”

Cabanos praised her club coach for helping her prepare for collegiate track and field.

“My club coach, coach Nate, is a top notch coach and he really pushed me,” Cabanos said. “Also my high school coaches really inspired me because I was a freshman and they said that they could see my potential. I was 14 and I was like, ‘OK, I don’t know what that means,’ but now I’m seeing what they meant back then.”

Cabanos said last year due to COVID-19 she was a little burnt out of track and field, but assistant coach Bryan Mack inspired her to keep going. 

“Coming into this year I don’t really know what changed, but I feel like the environment [Mack] created for us to thrive in … really helped me,” she said. “His coaching style is super supportive in everything you do and gives constructive criticism.”

Cabanos praised the team environment for helping her continue to grow as a student athlete.

“I think the team environment that we’ve created this year is supportive and there’s a mix between ‘let’s be serious’ and ‘do our best’ in meets,” Cabanos said. “But on the side we are so close-knit together. I feel like sharing moments like I hit a good mark. My teammates were the first ones to congratulate me and with the good environment that we have, it makes the feeling even better.”

She also mentioned how her teammates inspire her to give it 100% even during practice.

“They inspire me every day,” Cabanos said. “This scrimmage for example, I see them on the floor after their hard reps and I need to match their energy [during my reps].”

Cabanos believes that with a change of weather she can hit an even higher mark than she already has. 

“The weather at the meets lately has been pretty bad,” Cabanos said. “I feel like with an environment where it will be sunny, it will be good for me to not have to worry about throwing on my jacket after my attempt.”