Moving from one sport to another

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By Daniel Segraves, Tamara Hoyt

By Daniel Segraves, Tamara Hoyt

Cross country finished out its 2006 season by topping previous personal records for the year. The women’s and men’s team finished fifth and tenth, respectively, at the Commission on Athletics State Championship in Fresno on Nov. 18.

Among the record-breakers were Ana Mendoza, who finished 23rd, and Kristin Lynn, who was the women’s water polo team’s highest-ranking competitor, coming in 16th place.

For the men’s team, this is Jim McCarron’s first full recruiting year. He is from Santa Ana City College, and says that he is very excited to be at RCC.

The men’s team faced great pressure through the entire season, but didn’t fail to impress in the finals. With this year’s team comprised of mostly freshmen and new head coach Jim McCarron, the Tigers did not disappoint, finishing first in the season-opening RCC Invitational.

The Tigers also came in second in the Southern California Preview meet, the Fresno Invitational, the Brubaker Invitational, and the OEC Championship.

The men’s cross country team finished in 10th place at the State Championship. Freshman Mike Munoz led the Tigers, finishing in 21st place. Ian Iverson finished 47th and Mark Simpson finished 59th.

McCarron praised top runners Munoz, Iverson and Simpson, but made a special remark about Adrian Jaquez.

“Jaquez was the biggest surprise on this squad. (He) showed tremendous improvement by running a 21:50 for four miles,” McCarron said.

McCarron and women’s head coach Mike Barbee both expressed their excitement for the upcoming year, as many of last year’s runners will be returning.

McCarron and Barbee have no time to waste, however, as they prepare for the beginning of RCC’s track and field team prepare for their season.

With seven of nine females returning from the state team and two of the men, it looks like RCC will be having a successful year on the field.

Returning for the women’s team are sprinter Janai Starks, 400-meter runner and hurdler Christine Gamboa, jumper and sprinter Audnéa Hayes, and distance runner Ana Mendoza.

Joining the team this year are 10 women who competed in the CIF state meet last year, including pole vaulters Jill Harris and Linda Carnes. Throwing for the Tigers will be Ashley Mercado, Renee Espinoza and Jennifer Schultz. Brenda Holmes and Skyla Black will both jump and sprint, while Moriah Jubrey will only be sprinting. The last two of the 10, Kristin Linn and Candyce Hoover, will run middle distance and relay events.

Barbee is optimistic about the coming year. “We have a very talented team this year,” he said. “Every event will be able to pull their weight.”

RCC placed fourth at regionals, and 12th at state. According to Barbee, the goal this year is to place in the top three at regional competition and top 10 at state. Last year, RCC won five of six dual meets, but Barbee thinks they can do better.

“Our team is well balanced. Jumps, sprints, distance, and throws; there is so much potential in this group,” Barbee said.

Returning for the men’s team are sprinters Damo Dees and Byron Reynolds.

Joining these two will be eleven freshmen.

Sprinting for the Tigers are Justin Porter, Andre Ewell. Wayne West will also be sprinting, as well as jumping. Josh Como will be jumping as well, along with Eric Nowell and Eyrrin Broadie, who are also hurdlers.

Hurdling along with Broadie will be Kenny Kieag and Dylan Nielson. The final three, Gus Alejansrez, Mike Munoz, and Jake Johnson compete in middle distance, long distance and pole vault, respectively.

McCarron is optimistic about the slew of talent he has been able to bring in.

“I need people that are going to give us 100 percent,” McCarron said. “If they are going to come out for their parents, they may need to reevaluate their priorities.”

McCarron repeated the remark to the parent of a possible athlete.

The Tigers will be hosting a dual meet against CSU Long Beach at 2 p.m. Feb. 7.

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