The Chomp: Distance Runner Dominic Clima, recaps Gators track and field season
May 15, 2023
Welcome to the Xpress podcast, a podcast that brings city and statewide perspectives to SF State news. Arman Archouniani, staff reporter, and Steven Rissotto, copy editor talk to Distance Runner Dominic Clima to recap Gators track and field season.
Arman: Welcome back to the Chomp Pod. My name is Arman Archouniani, and I’m a sports writer on the staff.
Steven: And I’m Steven Rissotto, a copy editor and sports writer on the staff, we will be your host on this episode of the Chomp Pod.
Preview of the show
Arman: On the final episode, we will talk to Dominic Clima, a freshman long distance runner on the track and field team. We will also get into our local sports teams as well as our SF State Gator teams finishing up their seasons.
Steven: Alright, Arman at the time of this recording, we just saw the Golden State Warriors beat the Lakers in game five 121-106. And by the time this gets out, the listeners kind of might have an answer on to who is moving on to the Western Conference Finals. For it to be the Warriors, what needs to go right in your mind.
Arman: You know, I think all season it’s been a pretty big roller coaster in terms of playing on the road. It’s not a fun time to be going on the road, especially with the Lakers, being 5-0 at home this year in the playoffs. You know, every year it’s a circus in terms of what you’re going to get with the Warriors. Obviously, you know, they’ve come back from 3-1 before, so they know what it takes to win but I’m not too convinced, to be honest with you. I mean, there have been some games where they’ve played really well. This year, I just, they haven’t had that convincing aura about them that they’ve had in the past so I think honestly, what needs to go right is for all the role players to step up such as Jordan Poole Andrew Wiggins, Klay Thompson really needs to have a big game, he has been struggling this series, but you know what you’re gonna get with Steph. You know what you’re gonna get with Draymond Green, he’s going to bring tenacity, but it all comes down to how we shoot the ball in LA this weekend.
Arman: And as we dive into the Oakland A’s, I mean, Steven, what do you think? Is going wrong with the team? Is it the management? Is it the front office? Is it the players? Manager? What do you think?
Steven: Well, it’s definitely the front office and this front office has completely destroyed baseball in Oakland and I think that was on their agenda from the beginning and they’re now talking about moving to Las Vegas and they have a plan to purchase land in Vegas to build a new ballpark worth billions and I think this is what they wanted all along. I don’t think they ever cared about the rooted in Oakland slogan. They found a way to put a horrible team on the field, the last few years, they’ve been competitive but I think they’ve been inching towards this move and it’s really sad for baseball fans in the Bay Area because I think the A’s do have a good fan base. It is a lively fan base that I think comes out when they win but they haven’t been winning. They don’t put effort into building a team this offseason, they don’t put effort into making the Coliseum a legitimate place to watch baseball so this is kind of where they ended up and it almost reminds me of the movie like Major League where the owner is trying to move the team somewhere else to get out of Cleveland. So this is kind of what it reminds me of, they just don’t want to be in Oakland. They blame it on you know, the city of Oakland, the city of Oakland blames it on the A’s, you know, it’s just the back and forth but best case scenario, I honestly hope that they find a suitor and sell the team, you know, because I guess we’re gonna have to see what happens but it’s gonna be sad once they go to Vegas in the coming years.
Arman: Yeah. What do you think the fans will be happy with? What’s the end goal for these fans, you think.
Steven: A winning team in Oakland with players that they could have around the organization for a long time. Instead of when they get good, they get traded, which has been kind of the cup of tea for the A’s in their blueprint the last few years and I guess digging into the SF State sports. We’ll start with softball, softball, give us an update, because I know you’re writing about softball, and this has been, you know, the end of their season.
Arman: Yeah, the softball team. I mean, they’ve been playing resilient ball all year. I think they’ve only had one senior on the team, which everybody is pretty surprised about with how good they’ve been playing. You would think they’re all upper class players in terms of juniors and seniors. But this is a team with a lot of sophomores and a lot of freshmen coming in. So, you know, they didn’t make the regional playoffs, unfortunately. But obviously, they had a pretty good season with finishing with 27 wins, which is eighth most in the program’s history. So overall, kudos to the team, kudos to coach Reid for getting this team back to where it should be. They’ve been playing some good ball recently and staying with the softball . How do you think the baseball team has been playing? What’s the update on that?
Steven: Yes, so the baseball team they recently lost on May 10. They lost the CCS baseball tournament they lost against Cal Poly Pomona in seaside by a score of eight to five. And they have some more divisional regional games coming up I believe, this weekend or next weekend excuse me and the Gators are 27 and 22 and they’ve had some good showings recently. I know in that game, Michael Cunningham hit his ninth homer of the year and that’s the most by any SF State player since 2005. So it’s been almost 20 years since somebody’s hit that many home runs in a season, which is pretty amazing. But what went wrong for them is they had a bit of a first inning defensive troubles and also they hit in the four double plays and that’s the most that they’ve hit in all year. So I guess there’s certain things that could cost you a game and the league that they play in, it’s very high scoring, and kind of a rough game there but they have a little bit more to go, but it should be an interesting end of the year to them and the both of us covered Track and Field at SF State. You could check that out on Golden Gate Xpress and we’re going to talk to Dominic Clima. Coming up in just a little bit. But the track team, what do you think? How are they gonna end the season?
Arman: Yeah, so they had five men’s track and field players sent to the CCAA championships. They went to go compete at Cal State San Marcos. Some of them that were represented were Evan Jackson, Erik Carlson. Jose Torres, Joey Manahan and Gary Valle. I mean, they’ve been playing pretty well, in terms of just getting to the championship, of course. Yeah, as some of these guys head into their final races. Torres had a personal best in the steeplechase, shaving off 30 seconds. But yeah, I think overall, when we went they had a pretty good performance in terms of, you know, we had Dominic Lima win a race. I mean, it’s, it’s good times for the track and field team right now.
Steven: And we’re gonna hop right into that Dominic Colima interview coming up next on the chop. Here we go.
Interview with Dominic Clima
Steven: All right back here on the champ podcast with Dominic Cliima, and Dominic, we had to talk about maybe the recent events for track and field and it was the CCAA track and field championship in San Marcos, California. How did you guys do,give us some takeaways from that event?
Dominic: It was pretty good. Evan and Eric, it was their their last race for SF State and they both finished it really strong and with a huge PR in the 5k. Eric with a really strong race in the 10k. Joey had a bit of a bit of a stomach problem right before but he still had a really good race all things considered, Jose with a really nice PR in the steeplechase and Gary with a solid race to end out the year.
Arman: Yeah, what’s maybe like the preparation like maybe a week before the track meet?
Dominic: It definitely depends on what event you’re doing so if I’m going to run an 800, that’s a bit of a mid distance or low distance race so I’m going to do some quick workouts, some shorter workouts, whereas if I’m going to do the 5k, or the 10k, I’m going to do some longer workouts so that means less reps have a longer distance around the track. It’s kind of like, like weightlifting, honestly, if you wanna think about it in that sense, it’s less reps at a higher weight more reps at a lower weight. So you can think about it like that, depending on what you want to work on.
Steven: And we talked to you after the few weeks ago after you finish because you know, you run in the 1500 meter run and you talked to us about like, you know, getting to eat whatever you want kind of afterwards. So after a after a race or after a tournament, track and field tournament. Is that really what you guys get to do you guys get to kind of just like have at it in terms of food or take me through kind of like the what you’re able to do after because does it ease off a little bit?
Dominic: Yeah, it ease off or eases off, especially the day off since normally after a race we’re gonna run very easy recovery runs. So we’ll pretty much I mean, it depends on what we’re feeling. Well, sometimes we’ll go to In and Out. We can like you know, two burgers, animal fries, a shake, or we get a whole bunch of Chipotle, it’s, it’s pretty like I said we could pretty much eat whatever we want. It doesn’t have to be healthy or not, so yeah.
Arman: Yeah, well, let’s cut back on that question. What’s kind of like your go to meal after like a big race?
Dominic: Probably In and Out. I’ve been doing that since like, freshman year of high school so that was always what we did and then because there was always large one right by where we raced and then now here in SF State, there’s one just down the road so we always go there and that’s just kind of been the go to.
Steven: Now, are you in on the Animal Style Fries because I know a lot of people may not be.
Dominic: I don’t know. Yeah, like I had it and I was like, it’s good but it’s a little much for me. I’m not a big fan of the sauce so probably a no, I think I’ll go with the normal fries and ketchup. So yeah.
Steven: Good choice. Good choice. and now you are somebody from the South Bay. And you went to Branham High School in San Jose so not too far for you, I guess kind of how did you start getting into running and how did you, you know, get into track and field. When did that become something that you enjoyed?
Dominic: Um, around middle school, I’m a really big hockey guy, you know, being from the South Bay really big Sharks fan and I played a lot of hockey growing up and I was never that big of a guy so my big thing was speed staying in shape and when I got into middle school, I was just getting better hockey playing club and traveling so my dad said, Hey, you should join cross country track to get like, in if that’s actually how most runners find out about it. We don’t usually go Oh, yeah, no, we want to run in circles for a long time. That’s not usually how it is and then I turned out to be pretty good in middle school, got through high school and came here for running so it really started from trying to get like in in shape for different sports. I’m also really big car racing guy. Obviously, I can’t race cars, you know, that’s a pretty hard thing to get into, you’ve got a lot of money for that and this is the closest you get you know, you’re you’re right next to a guy putting everything you have in trying to beat him or trying to beat time and just especially here at SF State, the culture that the team has like, like out to my friend Gary, and my friend Anika. I mean, I mean, they’ve really introduced me to a lot of stuff and running, but I didn’t know that it made me like it even more so it’s the culture and definitely the racing aspect.
Steven: And what are those things? Because you’re a freshman, I’m sure you’ve had a chance to kind of conjugate with the upperclassmen or sophomores or juniors and seniors. What is that kind of been like learning because you just mentioned that you picked up on a few things. What are those things? And how have your older teammates been to you?
Dominic: I mean, they’ve all been really great. I had a really big jump from the fall semester to the spring semester snd I owe it all to them. All my coaches, especially the older guys, though, they just told me so many things I never even thought of it was hey, you should try, right, this stretch and that feeling? What are you talking about and then I do it, I’m like, Oh, hey, it actually worked, you know, putting in extra work than in high school, I never would have done. I mean, I never would like as soon as if my season was over, I would have stopped running. Alright, I’m done but I kept running as long as I wanted to as I had planned. And that’s gonna pay off later in the season, running more mileage, running certain splits, you know, doing extra core workouts, extra hip strength, all of that isn’t required but because they told me Hey, you know, if you want to get better, we’re all doing this and they’re all better as it are, I should go ahead and do that.
Steven: I guess it correlates a little bit for the long distance runners for the track and field program because like I mean, if you’re doing shot put, maybe you don’t need to do cross country. But do you do cross country in the fall?
Steven: Is that does all the distance runners have to do it? Is it like a policy or is it just kind of like, a very strong suggestion by the coaching staff.
Dominic: It’s a very strong suggestion like you don’t have to do it but I mean, if you don’t do it, you’re really not unless you really worked hard on your own, you’re not going to be good enough shape to come back for track so and you know, kind of back in that whole, loving the sport thing, as you mentioned earlier, you know, we all love to do it so we love to go out in the fall, and then we will come back in the spring and keep going into summer.
Arman: What’s in terms of, you know, the next three years, what’s your goals that you want to set for yourself? Have you looked into that? What do you want to accomplish?
Dominic: I have actually, so I was unfortunately only three seconds away from qualifying for the conference finals and the 1500 and my goal is to do that, you know, qualify there, that’d be nice to do it for the next three years. You know, I think like a goal, you could say is going to like nationals. No one has done that for our team in a long time and that’s a really steep hill to climb but that’d be really cool to do. Yeah, and I think just, you know, in, in college just kind of get better at everything I do and running is the main thing that I want to get better. I mean, obviously school that’s why we are all here, but you know, running is the big thing that I want to get better at, and just any way that I can, whether that’s improving by just two second sets, that’s an improvement so that’s what I’m looking for.
Steven: And we learned that you’re a BECA major so do I mean where do you want to, where do you want to go with that? I guess, is there anything outside of running that you’d like to do and you want to pursue eventually?
Dominic: Yeah like I said, I’m a big Sharks fan, from San Jose so I want to be a play by play broadcaster.
Dominic: That’s a big thing. Yeah, for the Sharks, for anyone. That’s what I’m trying to do. I I run a couple of sports pages on Instagram Twitter for San Jose, it’s kind of on my own, you know? So as your hat says, The giants are on there, the sharks all that. Yeah and I think I love sports, that’s like my whole my whole life pretty much so even if, even if I don’t end up broadcasting, as long as I’m in that industry, that’d be really cool.
Steven: Definitely, well, Dominic, we definitely appreciate the time. It was a blast and good luck on on your future tournaments and thanks for hopping on the Chomp podcast.
Dominic: Thank you for letting me hop on.
That will conclude the final episode of the Chomp Pod this semester. We will be back and make sure to follow us on Twitter @ the Chomp Pod and Golden Gate Xpress at GGX News.