Track and field team rises to compete after Cal State L.A. bomb scare

By Tadzio Garcia


The  East Los Angeles College track and field meet last Friday was cancelled because of a Thursday bomb threat at California State University, Los Angeles.

An anonymous caller called the El Monte police Thursday morning before 11 a.m. and said a bomb would go off at Cal State L.A. in two hours.

The campus was evacuated safely on Thursday at about 12:15 p.m.

The Los Angeles Police Department called off the bomb search at 2:30 p.m.

The Cal State L.A. website then read, “For precautionary measures, the Cal State L.A. Twilight Open and the…women’s tennis match have been cancelled.”

Two Cal State L.A. students, Andres De La Cruz and Kris Chacon were members of the 2012 ELAC Cross Country state finalist team.

Chacon is a member of the current Husky track and field team being eligible because is a full-time student at both ELAC and Cal State L.A.

“Who cares about the meet when something like this happens? The most important thing is that everybody was safe,” Gonzalo Ceja, track and field athlete said.

East Los Angeles College coaches rescheduled the Huskies to compete in the Long Beach State Beach Invitational, held last Friday at Cerritos College.

The Beach Invitational consisted mostly of four-year university competition from throughout the U.S. and teams as far away as Mexico.

“The team (ELAC) had to turn off our emotions of that horrible experience for students at Cal State L.A., two of which are our own, and get back to business as usual,” Ceja said.

At the Beach Invitational, “Avanti Armendariz continued to shine running the 400-meter hurdles for the first time. He ran a season best for ELAC,” Head Coach Louis Ramirez said.

Armendariz edged Gavin Couvrey-Jacobs of Cal State Fullerton for 36th place.

“He also led the 4 x 100-meter relay team of Antonio Oropeza, Nelson Lucha and Aaron Jasso, to their best time of the season,” Ramirez said.

Armendariz competes in eight events, two of which, the long and triple jumps, he is favored to advance to the postseason based on his individual state rankings.

Ceja has the best times for the Huskies in four events, the 1,500-meter run, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run.

He is ranked No. 15 statewide in both the steeplechase and the 10,000 run.

Lucha edged Heli Abarca Pastrana of Mexico’s National Athletic Association to win his heat in the 110-meter hurdles by .09 of a second.

Lucha has the fastest 110 hurdles time for the Huskies.

“Salvador Acsencio-Aguirre and Andrew Torres ran personal best records in the steeplechase. They continue to improve,” Ramirez said.

Nine Huskies competed in the steeplechase at the SCC prelims, including Omar Alvarenga whose just ran a personal best, at Mt. San Antonio College, yesterday.

Results were not available before the Campus News deadline for this issue.

“We are doing our jobs because we trained to peak at the end of the season. We entered the SCC prelims with confidence,” Alvarengo said.

Adding a sixth event to his resume at the Beach Invitational, Oropeza ran his first 400 dash impressively because he edged James Isip of Pasadena City College in an upset by 5.53 seconds.

Both runners were the only community college runners in the race. They raced against each other at the SCC prelims.

On the women’s side, All-American Megan Magdaleno ran a personal best in the 800-meter run, which was good enough to edge Emily McVay of Cal State Fullerton.

Magdaleno outran community college competition except for highly touted (among community college runners) Kailadnni Chavez of Pasadena City College.

Yadira Abarca competed in the 100-meter hurdles in a field that included only four-year university competition and ran to a lifetime best.

Vanessa Moore edged Kaci Storm of Iowa State University in the long jump.

Moore is expected to advance to the postseason out of the SCC finals, which will be on Friday at Mt. SAC based on her No. 5 SCC ranking.

Jessica Herrera and Adrian Crespo were the only community college competitors in the hammer throw.

Herrera hurled the hammer farther than Jylie (cq) Brill from Grand Canyon University of Phoenix for 47th place. Brill edged Crespo for 48th place.

Although ELAC did not have any women’s steeplechase entrants at the Beach Invitational, two Huskies are favored to also advance to the postseason out of the SCC finals. Olivia Reyes, who has the No. 4 fastest time in the state, and Rosa Arellano who is ranked No. 7 in the SCC.

“I love the steeplechase. I focus on each section of the race as it happens, running on the flat surface, the jumps, the water hurdle and knowing reserving energy to sprint at near the finish line.” Arellano said.

Ryan Angel, who specializes in the 400 and 4 x 400 relay team said, “The men’s team will compete in the SCC finals. We are motivated and believe in ourselves. We will put our minds to it and push the extra limit.

Angel began the season clocking in at 56.07 seconds in the 400 dash. “I dropped my times each meet and I’m at 52.07. My goal at the SCC is to break 52 seconds in the SCC finals.”

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