Back-to-back-to-back champs

 The Riverside City College track and field team traveled to Antelope Valley College on May 21 with a third straight state championship on their minds.

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By Javier Cabrera / Sports editor, Ricky Holmes / Asst. Sports Editor

Too good to be caught (Lauren Garcia / Photo Editor)

By Javier Cabrera / Sports editor, Ricky Holmes / Asst. Sports Editor

The Riverside City College track and field team traveled to Antelope Valley College on May 21 with a third straight state championship on their minds.

RCC competed with the best teams in the state and showed why they are the best team around.

Riverside scored 94 points, its score was 35 points better than their closest opponent, Sacramento City College, to easily win its third straight title.

The one team, Mt. San Antonio College, that was thought to be the toughest challenge for Riverside at the state finals, ended the day off a distant fourth with 47 points.

Going into the finals, Riverside was a predicted five point underdog against a heavily favored Mt. San Antonio College team.

The 45 mile an hour winds that pummeled the Antelope Valley College course didn’t seem to slow the Tigers down.

“Our guys ignored the winds and focused on what they needed to do in order for the team to win,” coach Jim McCarron said during an interview with the RCC District’s athletics Web site.

At the beginning of the second day, Riverside was in second place to start but that would quickly change.

Chris Bernard started the day off by winning the long jump and triple jump competitions.

Bernard hit a personal best mark in the long jump and then set the state’s best mark of 53 feet and two inches.

These two early victories gave Riverside the lead that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the finals.

“Chris felt like he needed to redeem himself after a disappointing performance at last year’s state meet. He certainly did just that,” McCarron said in the interview.

With seven qualifying athletes returning in 2011, next season should be just as exciting.

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