By Tadzio Garcia
The Huskies posted 17 career-best individual results in the last two weeks of track and field meets continuing to peak just a mere two weeks before the South Coast Conference finals.
In their most recent competition, seven Huskies raised their own bar with personal best records at Pasadena City College on March 24. Ten Huskies did the same at Occidental College and Cal State Northridge on Friday, March 16.
69th Pasadena Games
The Huskies posted seven best individual results at the 69th Pasadena Games held at Pasadena City College’s Robinson Stadium on March 23 and 24.
Giovani Leon and Davis Rangel tossed their farthest shot put throws of the year in 33’ 10.69″ feet and 23’ 1.16” respectively.
Leon won his shot put heat followed by Rangel (6th place) and Daniel Romero (7th).
Lizett Herrera also had a lifetime best in the shot put throwing a 31’ 2” toss good enough for second place in the first heat, followed by Raquel Acosta (3rd).
Herrera threw 100’ 10” in the discus, also a career best placing 7th out of 24 athletes losing only to competitors from four-year universities.
Raquel Acosta won first place in her discus heat. Jessica Espinosa and Jessica Herrera followed Acosta by both finishing in seventh and eighth places, respectively.
Iris Abrego’s pole vault leap of 9’ 0” was not only her top mark of the season, it was good enough for the 31st top pole vault leap in the state for community college women. Abrego placed fourth against community college competition.
Marcela Collazo ran her fastest 800-meter run in 3:06.03 minutes, shaving five seconds off her previous best time.
Shawnta (Shawn-Tay) Barnes posted a career best in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.28 seconds, running to the 13th fastest time in the state.
Barnes placed second in the 100 hurdles edging rival T’Keyah Gray of Mt. San Antonio College by .02 of a second.
Barnes and Gray are favored to be All-Americans in multiple events at the state final, which will be held in May at Cerritos College.
When asked about the victory over Gray, Barnes said, “I am really excited about the win. We are now at the same level in this event. Even though I am pumped and excited, I am still going to train harder each week.”
Top running results from Pasadena include Adrian Gaytan winning the first in heat of the 1,500 run in 4:21.32 minutes. Gloria Hernandez placed 5th (19:07.07) while Linda Alvarado placed 10th (21:07.87) in the 5,000 run.
Also in the 5,000 run, Daniel Zaragosa-Rincon placed sixth (16:42.92), Carlos Segovia eighth (17:36.93), Lupe Baqero 9th (17:58.76) and Jesus Hurtado took 11th place (18:17.52). Armendariz Avanti sprinted to eighth place in his 100 dash heat in 11.74.
Sean Acuna made his Husky debut in the discus with a toss of 33.27 meters good enough for fifth place in his heat. Leon placed seventh in the same heat with a throw of 32.22 meters.
Other debuts were the men’s 4 x 800 relay team who bolted to 5th place. The team was made up of Gaytan, Zaragosa-Rincon, Segovia and Effrain Barrera.
The men’s 4 x 1,600 also ran its first race ending in 5th place. The team consisted of Rene Flores, Zaragosa-Rincon, Gaytan and Alejandro Collazo.
Dominique Scott, fresh off the women’s basketball team’s Elite-8 finish, made her debut for the Huskies in the long jump with a leap of 13 feet, 8.5 inches. Scott placed 11th in the first heat. In the second heat of the long jump, Barnes placed eighth jumping 16’ 5.75.’’
Standout long jumpers Darren Bragg and Armendariz debuted in the triple jump taking 5th and 11th places, respectively.
Both of their jumps landed them with top results. Bragg owns the sixth longest triple jump in the South Coast Conference at 41’ 8.5’’ while Armendariz owns the No. 9 spot (37’ 5.75‘’).
Oxy Distance Carnival
Racing in a field that included four-year universities did not deter Huskies who posted eight best lifetime results at the Oxy Distance Carnival at Occidental College on Friday March 17.
In the 800 run it was and Carlos Lopez, Alejandro Collazo, Linda Alvarado and Gloria Hernandez. Adrian Gaytan and Rene Flores ran their top times in the 1500 run. Flores also ran his fastest 5000 run of the year as did Lupe Baquero.
Gloria Hernandez, Linda Alvarado and Carlos Lopez debuted in the 10,000-meter run posting times that vaulted them to top-25 statewide results.
Hernandez clocked in at 44:13.31 minutes followed by Alvarado in 46:16.27. These times are the 11th and 12th fastest times in the state for women.
They are also the fastest times for the Huskies in this event since 2007 when Sylvia Hernandez won second place in the South Coast Conference finals in 43:50.70.
Lopez’s time of 37:17.56 produced the 23rd fastest time in the state, 13th fastest in the South Coast Conference.
Cal State Northridge meets
All-American Barnes placed 5th in heptathlon out of over a dozen competitors at the Northridge Multi-Events held at California State University, Northridge on Friday, March 17.
The Northridge Invitational began in a downpour the next day. The Huskies did not compete due to the weather and track and field conditions.
“The team wanted to compete but the coaches made the decision that it wasn’t worth the risks,” said Head Coach Louis Ramirez. Many other athletes, of the scheduled 900, also did not to compete.
East Los Angeles College returned home from Northridge with the statewide’s No.2-ranked heptathlete in Barnes.
Barnes was the lone community college participant at Northridge upsetting athletes from CS Northridge, Concordia, La Verne and Idaho State universities.
Barnes won one of seven heptathlon events, the 200-meter dash, by .25 of a second, in 24.81, her fastest time of the year. Barnes posted her top result of the year in the heptathlon and also ran her lifetime best in the 800 run.
Barnes however placed 12th in the 800 run. Kylee Gleason of Idaho State won the event and as a result beat out Barnes for fourth place overall. Kylee Gleason of Idaho State won the event and as a result beat out Barnes for fourth place overall.
Barnes owns other individual statewide rankings, which are based on this year’s top results. Barnes is top-ranked in the state in the javelin, No. 4 in the high jump, No. 6 in both the 200 meters and the long jump.
Barnes will compete in the Southern California Heptathlon Championships on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10/11 at Cerritos College.
The top six finishers will advance to the state finals in this event. Points scored by the top eight places will be added to conference finals. The SCC finals will be held Friday, April 27 at El Camino College Compton Center in Compton.