By Hayden Kulick
In a track and field meet that had Division I NCAA talent, Riverside City College still found a way to win.
At the RCC Invitational on March 3, the men’s track and field team was able to win multiple events even when faced against NCAA athletes. Track clubs and schools such as Mt. San Antonio College, Cal State San Bernardino and University of California, Riverside all fell at the hand of RCC.
One big contributor for the Tigers was sophomore middle distance runner Kyle Reden who placed first in two events.
Reden has a very popular, yet difficult racing technique and in his performance in the 800-meter run he executed it to perfection. With less than a lap left, he was in last place. However with 250-meters to go, he began to kick past every runner on the track as he crossed the line in first place.
“It’s my favorite thing to do. I began to love that style of racing in high school,” Reden said. “I’m glad I get to carry that kind of racing into college.”
His performance in the 1500-meter run was very similar. With less than a lap to go he was hanging in the back before kicking his way into second place.
Training is what Reden attributes his 1500-meter performance to.
“Honestly it’s working on strength, endurance and pacing,” Reden said. “[Coach] wants us to hit 16s’, which is going through every 100-meters in 16 seconds.”
Reden also was able to qualify for the state meet with his performance today.
“He was against running the 1500-meter, he just wanted to do the 800-meter,” head coach Jim McCarron said. “I talked him into trying the 1500-meter today and he qualified for the state meet.”
Even with their best thrower having to leave early to get married, the men’s team was able to win in the throws.
Thrower Donal Aluesi not only placed first in both the hammer throw and shot put, but will also be getting married on March 4.
“He had a good day today in the shot and hammer,” McCarron said. “But what’s even cooler is that he had to go home right after in order to leave to get married tomorrow.”
While the women’s team did not end up winning the meet, they still ended up having some great individual performances. Dakota Zamarripa started off the track events with a win in her first ever 3k steeplechase race. In that race she was able to beat two Division II NCAA athletes.
Freshman Adelini Pacheco also had a good day for herself, setting new personal bests in the 800-meter run and 1500-meter runs.
“A lot of hard work goes into getting better,” Pacheco said. “I hit the splits that Coach McCarron wanted me to and overall I just felt good today.”
Covid-19 made racing difficult at the end of high school for Pacheco as they were allowed minimal contact with the coaches and other athletes.
“Being here makes a big difference for me. I am surrounded by student athletes that all want to move on to a four year [university],” she said. “I have coaches now that are here all the time and are very supportive.”
The Tigers will be competing again on March 8 at the Orange Empire Conference multi’s championship.