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Tigers sprint toward state title

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By Fred McCarthy / Staff Writer

Full speed (Diego Alvarez / Staff Photographer)

By Fred McCarthy / Staff Writer

Riverside City men’s track and field team won its sixth consecutive Orange Empire Conference track championship on April 27.
The men’s team defeated the rest of the conference, finishing with 352.5 points. Second-place Orange Coast finished with 163 points. A total of 13 different Tigers won conference titles, which included two relay winning teams.
“The guys made a statement today that they are ready for the postseason, and a run at the program’s fourth state title,” said coach Jim McCarron.
Yusef Merriweather ran a time of 10.59 seconds in the 100 meter to win the conference title.
Fellow Tiger, Kenny Jackson, finished second with a time of 10.66. Jackson (21.09) would get his revenge later on Merriweather (21.16) in the 200 event to take first place.
In the 800 the Tigers finished first second and third. Bennett Harris ran a 1:56.81 to win the title.
Mikey Davila won the 1,500 with a time of 3:58.86, barely edging out Orange Coast runner Hugo Guitterez (3:58.93).
Both men’s relay teams easily came in first place to add to the winning spirit.
Jerrell Moore won the high jump while setting a personal best of 6-feet, 9 1/4 inches. Spencer Gray won the triple jump with a leap of 46-11 1/2, and Austin Woods was victorious in the pole vault with his own personal best of 15-9.
The Tigers took the top three spots in shot put, with Moises Ramos coming in first with a launch of 49-9. Andre Evans won the discus with a toss of 154-6.
Tigers’ sprinter Kenny Jackson was also recently named the Conference Track Athlete of the Year.
 After the win, the Tigers track coach Jim McCarron was named the Conference Men’s Track Coach of the Year for the sixth consecutive season.
McCarron has led the Tigers to their sixth straight conference title including this season and has the team ready for its fourth state-title run in the last five seasons.
The men’s track and field team also has qualified at least one athlete in every event at the Southern California Prelims on May 5, which is something the Tigers’ track team has never done before.

Women’s track and field wins conference

The women also won the conference title, winning back to back Orange Empire Conference Championships. The Tigers scored 205 points to edge Orange Coast College’s 172 and had four athletes win conference titles.
“The ladies really stepped up and showed some heart,” said coach Damien Smith. “I am very proud of this group of young ladies.”
Amy Hop finished the pole vault in a tie for the conference title with a leap of 11-feet, 11 3/4 inches.
Her jump tied the conference record, and the jump also broke the Riverside school record that she had set earlier in the year. Jessica Giacoletti won the triple jump at 5-5 1/4. Her jump was a personal-best in the event.
Jessika Byrd threw a hammer 178-4 1/4 to beat Saddleback’s thrower Elizabeth Tepe.
Tepe had set a national record in the hammer throw, and was heavily favored to win the event.
Byrd’s throw was not only good enough for a school record, but she also set a new conference record.
Riverside scored first and second place finishes in the 100 meter.
Brittney Osborne ran a time of 12.16 to become a conference champion.
Tigers teammate Camille Williams, was second as she ran a personal-best time of 12.29.
Breyonna Arnwine became a two-time conference champion in the 400 meters, setting a season best time of 56.67. The two women’s relay teams easily won the 400 and 1600 events.
The Tigers women’s track and field team had athletes qualify for 15 of the 21 events at the Southern California regional prelim meet at San Diego Mesa College on May 5.
Smith was also selected as the conference’s women’s track and field coach of the year.
RCC is competing in the regional championships in San Diego on May 12 to qualify for the state championships at Cerritos College on May 19.

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