By Tadizo Garcia
The men’s and women’s track and field teams have recently won numerous times receiving both individual and team awards since 2008.
The Huskies have recorded top-10 community college results in the nation (1), the state (5), Southern California (5) and in the South Coast Conference (17).
The teams competed in the Mt. San Antonio College Opener on Feb. 6, the Mt. SAC Combined Events Challenge Feb. 19-20 and the Cross Town Relays Field Events at Cerritos College on Feb. 21.
“We’ve had a good start to the season. Laura (Aceves) is in good shape and is determined to defend her (3,000-meter) steeplechase and 10,000-meter state titles,” East Los Angeles College Head Coach Louis Ramirez said.
“Freshmen Ramiro Arreola and Kaniya Bawlson have first place wins against top statewide competition,” Ramirez said.
Arreola won first place in the men’s shot put at both the Mt. SAC Opener and the Cross Town Relays and Field Events.
“This is quite a feat because we do not have training facilities for our throwers on campus,” ELAC Assistant Coach Ernesto Zuniga said.
“We have put in a budget request to train at a local high school, but this will not help the ELAC throwers if it is approved late in the season,” Zuniga said.
ELAC has lost top throwers this and past years to other colleges who have throwing facilities, including Mt. SAC and Cerritos.
“I improved in throwing events about 10 meters (32.8 feet) in one semester at Cal State Los Angeles with access to training facilities,” Jessica Herrera, a member of last year’s ELAC team said.
According to Zuniga, he understood Herrera’s potential and encouraged her to continue competing while earning a degree at Cal State LA.
Arreola had the ninth-farthest shot put in the state two weeks ago.
“I am not able to throw in the shot put ring until I am in a meet. This throws off my timing,” Arreola said. “With access to training in a ring, I know I can throw over (50 feet) and want to have the equipment to be able to get better.
Other top-10 statewide results came from All-American and two-time defending state champion and sophomore Laura Aceves who ran fastest time in the nation in the 3,000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Opener.
In just three weeks Bawlson has three top-10 state results in the high jump (2nd), the long jump (8th) and the 100-meter dash (9th).
“I was nervous in my first college meets, but felt good once I competed,” Bawlson said. “I am excited to learn from the ELAC coaches and continue to improve.”
ELAC has also recorded five top-10 results in Southern California from freshman Emily Ruiz in the steeplechase (2nd in SoCal), and Bawlson who competed in her first-ever heptathlon event (2nd).
The Huskies compete at the Cerritos College Invitational on Saturday all day.