Whether you high jump, triple jump, throw a discus, or, in Linda Cohn’s case, throw a javelin, you might notice a level of camaraderie in field events that is unique in track and field. Cohn has, and the 53-year-old standout for College of the Canyons’ women’s track team’s quest is to get better, compete at higher levels and ignore the number hung above her head. In the process, she’s captured the interest of her teammates and coach Belinda Kane – and her opponents and their coaches. “What’s so interesting this year is no one sees me as a threat or anything like that,” Cohn said. “I’m trying to break 120 (feet), and other coaches on other teams have even helped. It’s funny and bizarre, but I love it.” As for that elusive perfect throw? “Your best throws are when you’re not focusing on much at all, without thinking too much and letting the muscle memory kick in.” Par for the course: COC’s men’s golf team secured its 10th straight WSC championship and 16th in the past 17 years, Monday at the Conference Championships at Lost Hills Golf Club in Simi Valley. The Cougars were led by Phil Martinez (Granada Hills High), who shot 77-72-149, and Hart High product Joe Greiner, who shot 75-75-150. Greiner finished fifth in the conference for the season. COC plays at the SoCal finals Monday in Santa Maria.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventCohn is looking for her second state championships appearance after posting the day’s best mark last weekend during the Western State Conference finals at Moorpark College with a throw of 115 feet, 9 inches. Cohn is ranked second in the Western State Conference (119-11) and looks to qualify for the state meet Saturday at the SoCal Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. “Last year, everything was a bonus,” Cohn said. “I’ve got a little more pressure on me this year.” Cohn has prepared by increasing her strength training this year. And her biggest strength might be her mental preparation, which can help close the gap on younger, stronger opponents. “It’s kind of like going after a perfect golf swing,” Cohn said, “preceded by a long run-through. It’s very, very technical.”
Gareth Bale has failed to find the back for Real Madrid in more than a month BEST OF 3 That fragility at the back should be and is real cause for concern. Even in the 4-2 win against Tottenham last week the warning signs were there, the visitors almost allowing Spurs to steal a draw with the clock running down. It is easy to score against Barcelona at the moment and oppositions know it. The fear of attacking them that once dominated their encounters is now gone.Coach Valverde is also starting to face questions about his calls. Ousmane Dembele – who had scored five goals in six games by September 18th – has had his momentum disrupted, and was only given six minutes from the bench with Barça chasing a win against Valencia. It was the first change Barcelona’s coach made in the game, full stop, begging the question of why it took so long. The only consolation for Valverde is that there is a general consensus that the Champions League is the most important honour for Barcelona this season, but take into account the fact that the Catalans have only ever won that trophy in seasons where they also won La Liga, and things don’t bode well.The timing of the dip is also particularly ominous for Madrid and Barcelona. At the same moment as they have slumped, others have hit form. Pablo Machin’s unapologetically attacking Sevilla have been sensational, picking up four wins in a row now and going top of the table. They don’t have the squad to balance European football with a genuine run at the domestic title, but they do have more than enough quality to chip away at the big two and open up a gap for the most realistic rival for Spanish football’s top prize – as Real Madrid found out when Sevilla smashed them 3-0 a couple of weeks ago. 3 Not what the doctor ordered. Or rather, the exact opposite of what Florentino Perez ordered. For all that Real Madrid have enjoyed the glory of four Champions League wins since 2014, they are equally aware of the counter-statistic that they have only won La Liga once since 2013 (as many times as city rivals Atlético in that period). Lopetegui was supposed to be the one to change that. Yet now, depending on who you ask, his job could be in danger, with rumours of players questioning his decision-making and the suits upstairs concerned.Things aren’t any better for Barcelona. It only took a couple of minutes for the Catalans to concede against Valencia at the Mestalla on Sunday, another set-piece defended alarmingly badly and fired home this time by Ezequiel Garay. Lionel Messi levelled the score with more of his continued brilliance, but a draw was the final outcome, and the Blaugrana are now without a win in their last four league games – three draws and one defeat.At the back they have been particularly ropey. Barça haven’t kept a clean sheet in La Liga since August, and with nine goals conceded have the worst defensive record in the top five. Worse than not only Sevilla, Atleti and Real Madrid, but even Espanyol, to rub salt in the wounds. RANKED Lionel Messi’s frustration is on show as Barcelona fail to beat Valencia Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui are both under pressure 3 Latest Football News Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Los Blancos were the first of the duo to go to the sword. Deep into added time at the Mendizorroza on Saturday night, Lopetegui must have been worrying about how he could possibly explain a 0-0 draw against Alavés at a ground where Real Madrid have won in the league in every visit since 2005. Then, with seconds left to play on the clock, confusion in the Madrid defence saw Manu García head home, and the away coach was instead tasked with explaining how he had overseen the club’s first league loss at the Basque ground since 1931.For the third game in a row, Madrid dropped points. Their form in the last five league games reads two defeats, two draws, one win. A stark contrast from the three wins in three with which they had started the La Liga season, when they had looked the sharpest of the big three off the starting blocks.More worrying still are the details. Karim Benzema is without a league goal since September 1st, as is Gareth Bale. The duo who were supposed to excel in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and prove that they too are “killers” in the box, as the Spanish call it. To make matters worse, both are struggling with fitness problems, and Madrid haven’t scored a league goal in their last four games. Should that continue against Levante in the next matchday, they will match the club record for their worst domestic goalscoring run of give games in a row from the 1984-85 campaign. Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The criticism some level at Spanish football is that La Liga “isn’t competitive enough”. Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui must wish that were true right about now.At the weekend, the bosses of Spain’s two biggest clubs saw an extended period of dropping points in the league drag on even further, and now find themselves on the brink of crisis just as others start to find their best form. England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won ADVICE huge blow REVEALED REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won MONEY Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? silverware As for the team that could most feasibly take advantage of the mess among the two top dogs, a 1-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday allowed Atlético to pass their city rivals at the second time of asking and go third, level with second-placed Barcelona on points. Should the latter side continue their current run, they will surely be the next team to be overtaken by the Colchoneros.To top it off, the international break means Barça and Madrid now have to stew in their misery for a fortnight while others enjoy the good momentum. There may never be a better opportunity for Diego Simeone to seal another La Liga trophy.