Winning tastes like gold
ELAC’s wins first-ever title
By Tadzio Garcia
All-American and freshman Laura Aceves won first place in the women’s 10,000-meter run at the CCCAA 2014 SoCal Regional Preliminaries and Championships May 3rd at Riverside City College.
It is ELAC’s first-ever women’s gold medal in the event at SoCal since it was added to California Community College Athletic Association track and field team competition in 1995.
“The race is not about time. Laura needed only to place at least sixth to qualify for the state finals in the event. 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, finishing 16 seconds faster than her nearest competitors.
After two of 36 women’s events completed, ELAC is tied for third place in the team standings with 10 points behind College of the Canyons (14 points) host Riverside (13).
The ELAC men’s team is tied for seventh place with El Camino College with four points a piece behind leader Orange Coast College (20).
Sophomore Gonzalo Ceja won sixth place in the men’s 10,000 run and advanced, along with Aceves, to the state finals May 17 and 18 at Mt. San Antonio College.
Aceves and Ceja will compete in the 5,000-meter and 3,000-meter steeplechase runs at SoCal finals this Saturday in Riverside.
Aceves took second place in the steeplechase prelims. Ceja won his prelims heat in the steeplechase.
“I didn’t need to win in the steeplechase since it was a qualifying race,” Aceves said.
Sophomores Daniel Zaragoza placed eighth in the 10,000 run in the prelims for the Huskies while teammate Kris Chacon finished in the No. 16 spot.
Both men compete in the SoCal finals in the 5,000 run for a chance to move on to the state finals.
“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 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 multiple qualifier. He finished 15th place in the long jump missing out advancing 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. She placed 24th in the both the discus and hammer in the SoCal prelims.
Other Husky results from the prelims that did not advance to the finals include Viridiana Hernandez who placed No. 21 in the women’s steeplechase, Cristian Flores (No. 21, men’s steeplechase and Luis Hernandez (No. 23, 110-meter high hurdles).