Berlioux, Powell earn back-to-back Big Sky Conference honors

Jessica Plasencia

Two Hornets have set themselves apart from the rest of their conference competition this season by combining to win four Big Sky Conference Track Athlete of the Week honors this outdoor season.

Chloe Berlioux, 22, earned her second Big Sky Athlete of the Week award on Tuesday, April 28. She won it for her performance in the 800-meter run at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge in Berkeley, California.

Caprice Powell, 23, was honored on April 20 after her performance in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash at the Mt. SAC Relay in Walnut, California.

“Both of them set a great example on how to work hard and how to be mentally dialed in and how to compete well,” said track coach Kathleen Raske.

Senior Powell has progressively improved during this outdoor season and was first honored on April 1 after she ran 23.69 seconds in the 200 meter at the Aztec Invitational.

Then, at the Mt. SAC Relay, Powell had an improved time of 23.50 seconds in the 200 meter. She also ran 11.51 seconds in the 100-meter dash and those strong performances earned her the second honor.

“I didn’t know that they would do that,” said Powell about receiving the Big Sky award for the second time.

The senior, after the Mt. SAC Relay, was ranked 17th in the NCAA West Region in the 100 and 29th in the 200.

“That was my best 100 and my best 200,” Powell said. “Because of the competition I felt really good about those races. That was my best start execution that I’ve had all season so it was really good.”

For the senior, having received the Big Sky title for the second time is a reminder that all the hard work she has put in is paying off and being acknowledged.

The level of success Powell has reached is due to her consistency, drive and desire to improve and push herself to do better, Raske said.

“She has been someone who has been completely dialed in this year, just really mentally focused,” Raske said.

Powell feels she is where she needs to be at this point in the season. She said she is happy, healthy and in a good spot.

This is the senior’s fifth year of being a part of Sac State’s track team, as Powell redshirted her freshman year. Each year has helped shape Powell into the athlete she is now.

“I am not the same athlete that I was the first four years … I’ve learned a lot [about] self-discipline and being confident and believing in yourself,” Powell said. “I’ve learned a lot of things every year. This year I’m sort of putting everything together and believing in myself and staying motivated.”

Fellow track athlete Berlioux earned her second Big Sky title nearly a month after being awarded for her 800 meter and 1500 meter at the Sac State Hornet Invitational on March 24.

Berlioux was honored the second time after she ran 2 minutes, 9.48 seconds in the 800 meter at the Burtus Hamilton Challenge. Her time marks the second-fastest in the Big Sky this season and puts her 53rd in the Division I West Region.

“It’s pretty rewarding for all the hard work that I’ve put in for the sport and for the team, it’s a good way to know that your hard work is being noticed,” said Berlioux about winning twice.

Raske described Berlioux as an athlete and shared what has helped her be triumphant.

“Chloe is a very mature young lady, and she is very much [an] emotionally-controlled athlete and that gives her the ability to race well,” Raske said. “The breakthroughs that she has had have been tremendous. It’s due to all the hard work that she has put in.”

Berlioux credits where she is at as an athlete to her present and past coaches.

“I’ve been blessed a lot with people in my life that have been very helpful and willing to communicate and work with me through my challenges,” Berlioux said. “I’ve been really grateful and appreciative of all the people that have come through my life and helped me get to where I am today.”

Junior Berlioux is pleased with her performance thus far this season, and she said she is looking forward to continuing the rest of the season.

Sac State track and field will have their last meet, the Sacramento State Open, on May 9 before heading to the Big Sky Conference Championship on May 13 in Cheney, Washington.