By Austin Turner
The Riverside City College track and field season was filled with broken records and dominant perfomances against top-tier competition.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, both teams fell short of ending the season with a state title.
The RCC men put up a worthy fight at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championships on May 18-19 in Bakersfield.
They put up 122 points, good for a second place finish in a stacked field of excellent track and field programs.
They fell just short of the gold, which went to the Mounties of Mt. San Antonio College with 160 points.
This year marks their second consecutive season as the state runner-up.
The lone individual state champion for the Tigers was freshman standout Antonio Mitchell. He had a dominant performance in the 100-meter dash with a blazing fast 10.47 seconds. Mitchell also had a third place finish in the 200-meter, clocking in at 21.41 seconds.
Keylan Dennis was the only other RCC men’s sprinter who was able to grab a medal, as he ran a 47.19 in the 400-meter, good for third place.
Dennis was also a key contributor to the state champion 4×100 relay team, which finished first with a mark of 39.69.
Other runners on the relay included Christopher Shiley, Jamal Palmer and Keanon Dennis.
Middle distance star Alec Hall had a pair of second place medals at the championships, grabbing silver in the 800-meter with a time of 1:52.05 and the 1500-meter at 3:54.54.
Hall fell just short of the state title in the 800, finishing only .03 seconds behind College of the Sequoia’s Tyler Gonzalez.
Distance events weren’t as kind to the Tigers, as Jeffery Robbins produced the only podium finish, placing third in the 3000 steeplechase at 9:35.83.
Jordon Davis and Alec Jones represented RCC in the discus throw, grabbing second and third-place respectively. Davis edged Jones out for second with a throw of 50.75 meters, while Jones had a great toss himself at 50.41 meters. Jones also earned third place in the hammer throw with a mark of 51.72 meters.
The women finished on the podium for a remarkable seventh season in a row, as they scored 54 points en route to a third place finish behind Mt. SAC and Cerritos College.
For RCC women’s coach Damien Smith, a third place finish marks a successful season. “Our goal is always the podium,” Smith said.
Helping the Tigers reach the podium was Dejiah Joseph, the sole medalist in the track events for the RCC women, who earned second place in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:04.34.
The field events were a success for the Tigers, as Katelyn Baker took second in the triple jump with a leap of 37’ 9.5.” Angelique Hudson also received second, taking the silver in the shot put at 43’ 9.25.”
RCC took third in two relay events. The 4×100 finished in 48.38 seconds thanks to solid performances from Erica Menchaca, Argnae Meyers, Michelle Pickens and Maryjane Smith.
The 4×400 relay including Makenzie Matteson, Joseph, Meyers and Smith also put up a great run of 3:53.46.
The performance at the CCCAA State Championships lived up to RCC’s reputation as a major contender in track and field.
The second and third place finish validate the hard work that the team put in this season. RCC will look to improve next year as they look to retake the crown from Mt. SAC as top track and field program in California