RCC gliding toward third title

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By Ricky Holmes / Asst. Sports editor

Adrian Brown, prepares to start the Men’s 400 meter run at the Orange Empire Conference finals on April 30 at Orange City College. (Lauren Garcia / Photo Editor)

By Ricky Holmes / Asst. Sports editor

Domination. Excellence in execution. Perfection.

The Riverside City College men’s track and field team displayed the first two terms and nearly achieved the last at the Orange Empire Conference Finals on April 30 at Orange Coast College by winning 12 out of the 14 events.

The team won its fourth consecutive Orange Empire Conference title and are on the way to capturing a third state championship in as many years.

RCC exerted its power as the team finished first and broke its own conference scoring record in the process. The team finished first with a score of 358.5. The Tiger’s previous high score was 347.

Second place went to Orange Coast College at 187.5 while Saddleback College rounded out the top three with a score of 139.

The top six qualifiers in every event moved on to the Southern California Regionals at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo on May 8.

Austin Elmore kicked the day off right by winning the discus with a throw of 156 feet and one inch. Teammate Aaron Licon finished sixth in the discus to qualify for the Southern California Regionals as well as Elmore.

The running events went just as smooth as the field events as the Tigers roughed up the competition all afternoon.

In the men’s 400 meter relay, the four man team pulled off an easy victory as they sailed past the competition with a time of 40.91. The relay team consists of Djuan Lee, Duke Greer, Tommy Curry and Kenny Jackson.

Alberto Camacho ran deceptively fast in the 1,500 meter event. He was trailing for the majority of the race when he decided to kick in the afterburners and propel himself past the other runners to win with a time of 4:07:61. Camacho was a double winner as he also won the 800 meter event at 1:56:19.

On May 6, Camacho was named track athlete of the year by the Orange Empire Conference while coach Jim McCarron was named coach of the year. Charles Smith was named field athlete of the year. Smith set the all-time conference record in the long jump with a jump of 25 feet and six inches.

RCC went 1-2-3-4 in the men’s 110 meter hurdles as Cordell Corder flew past the pack and his teammates with a time of 14.50. Corder’s teammates Marcelleus Coleman, Joshua Hemphill and Tony Crutchfield finished a second behind him to secure the top four spots.
In the men’s 400 meter, the Tigers pulled off a similar feat by having five out of the top six runners qualify for the So-Cal Regionals. Marquis Pilchur won the event by narrowly defeating fellow Tiger Garrett Baxter at 47.37 for the win.

Duke Greer was only an arm’s length away from the competition when he won the men’s 100 meter event at 10.71. Kenny Jackson and Djuan Lee trailed by milliseconds and finished at 10.83 and 10.87 respectively to round out the top three spots.

The only upset of the day for the men’s team came during the 400 meter hurdles as RCC was upset by Saddleback College. Tony Crutchfield and Marcellus Coleman were still able to qualify for the So-Cal Regionals by finishing fourth and fifth in the event.

Jeff Pelarde, the 10,000 meter winner at the preliminaries, won the 5,000 meter event easily at 15:11:92 while teammate Daniel cooper was second at a time of 15:19:41.

In the final men’s event, the 1,600 meter relay, the team looked poised and ready to win and they didn’t disappoint. The team of Marquis Pilchur, Garrett Baxter, Corey Evans and Khurtis Henry won with ease as they were at least 100 meters away from the closest team at the finish line.

At the So-Cal Regionals on May 8, RCC qualified to send 28 athletes to the state finals in hopes of winning a third straight championship.

Daniel Cooper, left, and Jeff Pelarde, right, bring the heat finishing first and second in the Men’s 5000 at OEC finals on April 30 at Orange Coast College. (Lauren Garcia / Photo Editor)

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