By Tadzio Garcia
All-American Laura Aceves won first place in the women’s 10,000-meter run at the 2014 SoCal Trials Regionals Championships May 3 at Riverside City College.
It is ELAC’s first-ever women’s gold medal in the event at the SoCal finals since the event was added to California Community College Athletic Association track and field team competition in 1995
“In order to win Laura knew that the race is not about time and that he only needed to place at least sixth to qualify for the state finals in the 10,00 (run). She ran a tactical race, with her kick helping her to win,” ELAC Assistant Coach David Loera said.Aceves picked up her speed in the last mile and ran alone to the finish line in 40:56.43 minutes, finishing 16 seconds faster than her nearest competitors. Cynthia Torres of Golden West College (41:12.17) and Michelle Jackson of Mt. San Antonio College (41:12.60) placed second and third, respectively.
With her gold medal win, Aceves qualified for the CCCAA Track and Field State Championships, May 17-18 at Mt. San Antonio College.
Gonzalo Ceja placed sixth in the men’s 10,000 run at SoCal while Daniel Zaragoza placed eighth Kris Chacon finished in the No. 16 spot. Ceja moves on to the state finals in the 10,000 run. Zaragoza is an alternate.
Aceves and Ceja also advanced to the state finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase runs. Both took second place in the women’s and men’s steeplechase at SoCal last Saturday.“I didn’t need to win in the steeplechase since it was a qualifying race. I ran to qualify for state with a goal of winning the event,” Aceves said.
Aceves, Ceja and Zaragoza will compete in the 5,000-meter run in the SoCal finals May 10 at Wheelock Stadium at Riverside City College.
“For the fourth consecutive year ELAC has a chance to qualify for the state finals in a hurdles event,” Loera said.
Freshman Jorge Romo advanced to the SoCal finals in the 400-meter hurdles, placing fifth in the prelims with a personal record. “He runs hesitant in the event, but can advance to state if he drops a half-second off his time,” Loera said.
Romo ran back-and-forth between events as a multiple qualifier at the SoCal prelims last week. He took 15th place in the long jump, missing out qualifying to the SoCal finals by 1.25 inches. He was disqualified in the 100-meter high hurdles for an inadvertent leaning fall at the start of the race.“He was probably thinking about the long jump, which was just about to begin,” Loera said. Romo took 14th place in the decathlon.
The men’s 4×400 relay team did not compete because Adrian Gaytan was a no-show. Sophomore Adriann Crespo finished her ELAC track and field career a two-time SoCal semifinalist in the hammer throw.
Cris Flores and Viridiana, both in the steeplechase, along with Luis Hernandez (110-meter hurdles) finish the season SoCal semifinalists.
After two of 18 women’s events completed, ELAC was tied for third place with Cerritos College, each with 10 points, in the team standings behind leader College of the Canyons(14 points) and host Riverside (13 points) who is currently in second place.
The ELAC men’s team is tied for seventh the place with El Camino College with four points apiece behind Orange Coast College who is in first place (20 points) after four events.
ELAC results after Day 1 of SoCal Prelims and Finals:
Men’s 110-meter hurdles
Luis Hernandez, 23rd place
Jorge Romo (disqualified)
Men’s 400-meter hurdles
Jorge Romo* (6)
Laura Aceves** (2)
Viridiana Hernandez (21)
Gonzalo Ceja** (2)
Cristian Flores (21)
Men’s 4×400-meter Relay
ELAC (did not run – dnr)
Men’s 1,500-meter run
Adrian Gaytan (dnr)
Men’s 10,000-meter run
Gonzalo Ceja (6)
Daniel Zaragoza (8)
Kris Chacon (16)
Women’s 10,000 run
Men’s Long Jump
*Qualified to SoCal finals
**Qualified to state finals