By Tadzio Garcia
East Los Angeles College sophomore Gonzalo Ceja is the first South Coast Conference track and field men’s champion for the Huskies in six years.
He won the 3,000-meter steeplechase run with a personal record at the SCC Preliminary Finals on April 22 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach.
The Huskies compete in the SCC finals tomorrow in Long Beach.
As a result of Ceja’s first place win, he advanced as the No. 2-seed in the steeplechase to the 2014 California Community College Athletic Association SoCal Preliminary Finals, May 1-3 at Riverside City College.
ELAC qualified three men for SoCal in the 10,000-meter run, also out of the SCC Preliminary Finals, for the first time since 1990.
Sophomores Daniel Zaragoza placed second and Kris Chacon took fifth. Ceja placed sixth in the last SoCal qualifying spot from the SCC. Chacon and Ceja each ran personal records.
All-American freshman Laura Aceves advanced to SoCal in the 10,000 and steeplechase runs based on qualifying times she ran during the season.
She ran undefeated in these two events as well as the 5,000-meter run during the regular season against California community college competition.
Aceves won the 1,500-meter run in the SCC Preliminary Finals running two seconds faster than Sierra Ungerman of Mt. SAC. The two meet again in the SCC finals tomorrow.
Aceves will attempt to advance to SoCal in five events.
“I am running in the 800, the 1,500 and the 5000-meter (runs) on Friday (the SCC finals). The shorter races help my endurance,” Aceves said.
Adriann Crespo advanced to SoCal in the hammer throw for the second consecutive year. She threw a personal record in the SCC Preliminary Finals edging Mijea Gallmon of Cerritos College by 7 feet 1 inch for fourth place.
Other results from the SCC Preliminary Finals on April 22:
Tyler Smith (17th place)
Smith (23), William Hang (25), Ruby Padilla (19)
Adrian Gaytan (11), Cristian Flores (15), Aceves (2), Ruby Padilla* (14), Viridiana Hernandez (16), Amy Herrera (23), Sandy Bautista (25), Maybell Sanchez (26)
Zaragoza* (4), Gaytan (11), Herrera* (18)
Zaragoza*** (2), Kris Chacon*** (5), Ceja*** (6)
110-meter high hurdles
Jorge Romo** (7), Luis Hernandez** (9), Jimmy Palencia-Gonzalez (12)
400-meter high hurdles
Romo** (7), Luis Hernandez** (8), Palencia-Gonzalez* (16)
Flores (10), Viridiana Hernandez* (7), Sanchez* (9), Bautista* (10)
Daniel Romero (19), Abraham Islas* (20), Palencia-Gonzalez (22)
Robert Villafan** (9), Romero (12), Islas* (13), Crespo* (4)
Villafan** (9), Luis Hernandez (13), Islas* (19), Palencia-Gonzalez* (21)
Villafan (15), Crespo (16)
**Qualified for the SCC finals
*** Advanced to SoCal prelims