By Ana Rocha
By Ana Rocha
After months of practice and events, it all comes down to a few final events. Each event, week after week, and each performance will determine whether each member of the Riverside Community College track team will go on to the next meet or not. All the hard work and time spent practicing will be reflected in these last few performances. “There’s no tomorrow if you don’t run well,” women’s coach Mike Barbee said.
But of course this doesn’t only go for runners, but for all of track and field participants.
On the weekend of April 23 all track and field members were to be found at the Conference Championships at Saddleback. This meet was the first of four very important meets for these athletes. The top six performers in all events at this meet move on to the regional preliminaries with hopes to advance to the Regional Finals, while the rest sadly go home and prepare for next season. While many men qualified, every women obtained a ticket to the Southern California Regional Preliminaries on the weekend of April 30.
Among the different events Jared Ware, Mario Hughley, Dupree Grant, Amy Gilsen and Kim Avila took first places. Many other participators placed 2nd through 6th and will be going to regional prelims.
“I’m pretty excited, I just wanna work on my technique this week and really stay focused on my meet and just go out there and do the best I can,” Avila said. After being No. 1 in the shot put Avila has her ticket in hand for the prelims and hopes to continue on to the finals.
The men won the 4×100 relay, who were Damein White, Ware, David Johnson and Hughley with a time of 40.90. The 4×400 relay was run by Jason Amy, Johnson, Maurice Chappell and Terrance Whaley with a time of 3:20.91 which placed first. Not only this, but men also won the whole event with 203 points, 29 whole points away from second place winner Orange Coast.
“We had a good meet. I was expecting it to be a little closer than that with Orange Coast and we beat them by 29 points, so I was happy with the performance,” Parks said.
“Hopefully I go to state this year, last year I was one meet away,” said Adam Medina. He was in the top six in the discus and hammer events, which means he is going on to regional prelims and hopes to get to finals and then to state.
A total of 23 men and women were able to have the great performances that gave them a pass to the regional prelims. However, these individuals weren’t the only performances that topped sixth. Two of the men’s and one women’s relays also made it top six. “We qualified everybody we wanted to, plus a few more, it was a good performance all the way around,” Parks said.