ELAC track and field wins three All-American honors at state finals

CLEARING THE BAR−Shawnta Barnes racks up needed points in the heptathlon’s high jump event by clearing 5′ 3″ feet at the track and field state finals at Cerritos College, last Friday May 18. Barnes repeated All-American in the heptathlon the next day placing fourth overall.

By Tadzio Garcia


Shawnta Barnes brought home All-American honors in three events for the Huskies at the California Community College Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Cerritos College last Friday and Saturday.

Add Barnes to the list of the many records that fell at the state finals, which she accomplished competing in more events than any other athlete, male or female.

Barnes twice broke the East Los Angeles College women’s 200-meter dash record previously set by Bianca Simonetti in 1994.

Barnes ran 24.37 seconds in the heptathlon’s 200 dash last Friday then ran 24.34 the next day during 200 dash finals to place fifth.

Barnes finished her ELAC career All-American in the 100-meter dash and the long jump as well as two-time All-American in the heptathlon.

This was the first time in five years that a Husky won All-American honors in three events.

Oscar Ogwaro won three titles in 2007 resulting in three All-American honors in the men’s 1,500 and 5,000 runs as well as the steeplechase.

The ELAC men’s team placed fifth that year.

Riverside City College won the men’s 2012 track and field title for the fourth time in five years. Mt. San Antonio College, the South Coast Conference champ took second place.

The ELAC women’s team scored 20 points and took 19th place, out of 42 community colleges, in the 2012 women’s team standings. The Huskies edged Moorpark and Butte colleges who both scored 19 points.

Orange Coast College, the 10th ranked team in the state, edged the Huskies by two points for 18th place.

Laney College won the women’s team title with 73 points. Laney’s Ashton Purvis set an American JC record in the 200-meter dash in 22.86 seconds edging Barnes by 1.48 seconds.

The sprint gives Purvis a top-20 world ranking.

Barnes won fourth place in the heptathlon by running a personal record in the last event, the 800-meter run, which is her most difficult event according to Barnes. “I overcame this hurdle,” said Barnes.

After the presentation of te women’s heptathlon trophines and medals, ELAC graduate Adreana Cano sang the Star Spangled Banner.

Cano was a two-time 1999 Southern California champion for the Huskies in javelin and hammer throws. “It’s and honor to be here and great to see my ELAC coaches,” said Cano.

Cano currently holds the USA Track & Field record for the American Masters Outdoor T&F in the Pentatlon Throws for women 35-39 years old category, which she recorded in July 15, 2011 in Sacramento.

Barnes isthe first female athlete at ELAC to win a SoCal crown since Cano.  Barnes won the 100 dash last week at San Diego Mesa College.

In the process, Barnes ran to an ELAC record in this event at 11.87, breaking a 26-year record set by Ann Stadler in 1986.

“I competed in six events at SoCal and that was the highlight. At state, it was difficult competing in 11 events in two days. As difficult as it was, I came pushed to finish because I came this far,” said Barnes.

The busiest athlete on the field headed to the women’s long jump finals to compete in her 10th event.

Barnes advanced to the long jump finals after three jumps explaining to the official she was briefly leaving to compete in the 200 dash.

She was told she would have to pass any of her next three jumps if she was not present when her name was called.

Barnes ran across the field to the 200 dash start, recorded a personal best time in the event and ran back to compete in the long jump where she was only allowed two jumps.

Two was all it took as Barnes jumped to third place winning her third medal of the meet.

Barnes ran to fourth place in the 100 dash, in 12.07, earlier in the day edging Brittany Osborne of Riverside by .16 of a second, for her second medal.

Barnes placed 9th in the javelin with a throw of 102’ 10” feet Friday night. “I was so tired competing in many events at state but I am pleased because I gave it my all,” said Barnes.

Barnes ended the season with the top community college javelin throw in the state. She threw 142’ 8” at the Beach Classic held in early March, also at Cerritos College.

David Loera was the throws and hurdles coach for Barnes. Loera was awarded the Co-Assistant Coach-of-the-Year in the SCC.

“I want to thank my coaches who kept me strong and focused,” said Barnes.

“Shawnta came to ELAC unknown as leaves All-American,” said Head Coach Louis Ramirez.

“She also leaves four school records in the heptathlon (4801 points), 200 dash, javelin and the 100 dash. She has learned to handle pressure well, from failures to successes and she has just touched what she can produce.”


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