By Luis Quintero
The Orange Empire Conference Track and Field Preliminary rounds kicked off April 20, hosted by Riverside City College at Wheelock Stadium.
The Tigers went home with 19 first place finishes, with eight coming from the women’s team and eleven from the men’s.
The men’s team crushed the competition as they placed first with 167 points, a whole 134 points over Saddleback College, who placed second, and 154.5 above Orange Coast College who placed third.
Sophomore A lec H all continued to dominate the mid- distance events by earning a pair of top finishes. He finished the 1500-meter with an impressive mark of 4:9.77 and earned a time of 1:55.84 in the 800. Hall is one of the top 800 runners in the state as he demonstrated when he placed first at the Bob Larsen Distance Carnival & Jim Bush Legends Invitational at UCLA earlier in the season.
As for the 3000 steeplechase, sophomore Jeffrey Robbins earned the top time with a clip of 9:44.41. Another first place finisher was freshman Jamal Palmer with his time of 10.72 in the 100.
The field events yielded three first place finishers for the RCC men. Shot-putter Jordan Davis put on a show with his throw of 47’ 3.5”. Justin Reed showed off his hops, grabbing gold in the long jump with a jump on 21’10”. In the javelin, Marcos Gonzalez was the only man to break the 50-foot mark with a toss of 53.28 meters.
In the decathlon, freshman Deryhan Harris edged out OCC’s Alixander Morse for the win, scoring 5454 points to Morse’s 5413. Harris was terrific in the jumping events of the decathlon, winning the long jump, high jump and pole vault. Harris was able to hold onto the victory by placing second in the 400 and 100-meter hurdles.
The women were equally as impressive. They placed first with 131 points, 80 points ahead of second place Orange Coast College and 107 points more than third place Fullerton College.
The Tigers women dominated for a great part of the track events. One notable runner who continued to shine throughout the competition was sophomore Sarah Hollis. She began the conference by setting the state mark of 11:31.21 in the 3000 steeplechase. She went on to take first in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 39:26.69.
The women were perfect in field events as they captured victories in all four competitions. Freshman Angelique Hudson, who holds the top mark in California in the shot put, placed first once more with a toss of 45’ 2.5”. Karen Orozco took to the skies in the pole vault, with a jump of 3.04m. In the long jump, Valentina Sanabria leaped 5.16m to grab first place and Gabriela Sanabria captured a victory in the javelin with a throw of 33.28m.
Track and field continues to demonstrate how the program has earned seven California Community College Athletic Association pacing marks. The Tigers will compete at OEC finals on April 27 at RCC’s Wheelock Stadium.