By Kevin Hudec
By Kevin Hudec
Nine and a half points separated fourth place Riverside City College from first place Pasadena City College. The competition was tight, with less than 3 points between RCC and second place finishers Moorpark, who took first place at the Southern California Men’s Track competition. The Tigers received second in the Southern California meet.
The men’s and women’s teams both placed first in the Orange Empire Conference
this season, and managed to do so in an impressive way.
The men set a conference record for scoring the highest number of points in the conference championship ever, and the women placed first in the Orange Empire Conference for the first time in twelve years.
The women’s track team also made it to the state tournament and placed 31st overall, which was quite the accomplishment, with 104 teams managing to qualify for the state tournament. Still, only 35 schools qualified with times strong enough to actually attend.
All of the women’s points came from the relay teams. The Tiger’s 4×400 women’s relay team placed fourth, and the 4×100 team took sixth.
Men’s track coach Jim McCarron was very pleased with his team’s performance.
“Going into the state tournament, our goal was to be in the top five,” McCarron said. “We had the youngest team there. Ninety-five percent of our team is freshmen.”
When asked which students really stood out, McCarron quickly spoke highly of runners Mike Munoz and Ennis Jones. Jones finished fourth in the 400-meter run and sixth in the 200. Munoz finished second in the 5000 and received fourth in the steeplechase.
“The steeplechase is a 1000-meter race, which has water hazards. It’s a very unique event,” McCarron said.
RCC’s men’s relay team placed second in the 4×400 and fourth in the 4×100.
It is only McCarron’s second year as coach here at RCC. Last year, the team he acquired ranked 28 at State and 18 at Southern California Sectionals. This year’s athletes were the first class he recruited, and the team jumped 16 spots in the Southern California Region to second place, and moved up 22 places at the state level, to fourth.
“We’ve got a great recruited class coming up next year, as well,” McCarron said. “We hope to break into the top three next year. … We’ve got great upcoming stars, both on this year’s and next year’s class.”