Martinez Steeples to State Auto at DeAnza Open

Soph Andrew Martinez becomes first Norcal runner to qualify to state in 3k steeplechase.
Soph Andrew Martinez becomes first Norcal runner to qualify to state in 3k steeplechase.
With a break finally in the rains, Hartnell College track & field teams enjoyed a banner day at the DeAnza Open in Cupertino. DeAnza College will play host to this spring's Northern California Regional Championship and many teams came out over the weekend to get a preview of the facility and competition. As a team, the women placed second overall to host DeAnza College 176 to 146 points. The men came in third behind host DeAnza and Diablo Valley College.

Sophomore Alyssa Pochop nearly qualified last year to the CCCAA State Championship in the javelin throw but came up just a two feet short in her final competition in the event. This season she's already booked her ticket to Sacremento in May with her winning mark of 114'3". That mark makes Pochop the fifth best thrower in Hartnell history in the javelin throw. Also surpassing the state automatic qualifying mark early in the season was Andrew Martinez. A former Soledad High School athlete, Martinez took over the state leading mark with his winning 9:48.93 in the 3k steeplechase. A Norcal finalist last year in the event, Martinez lowered his lifetime best by 19 seconds in his debut this season. He is the only athlete in Northern California to complete the event in under 10 minutes so far this spring. The mark was a personal best by 19 seconds. Frosh Haley Romero flirted with a long jump of 18 feet with her season best 17'9.50". Romero also competed in the shot put and javelin competitions for the first time prepping for the Northern California heptathlon championship in April.

For the Lady Panthers, Sherise Robinson produced one of the finest freshman sprint doubles in recent years. Robinson placed second in the 400 meters in a lifetime best 58.50 and returned to take another second place in the 200 meters in 25.75. Robinson also aided in the winning 4x100 relay team (49.55) which included Romero, Leilani Russell, and Bailee Rusconi. Rusconi moved up the all-time list for the 100 meters with her lifetime best 12.88. Yvette Felix lowered her conference leading 1500 meter best to 5:00.70. Elizabeth Hernandez qualified to the regional meet with a season best 2:29.56 in the 800 meters. Jocelyn Cervantes and Beatriz Duarte lead the distance corp in the 5000 meters with season best 19:43.70 and 19:51.74. Sophomore Chelsea Andrade became just the eighth female in school history to heave the hammer 130 feet with her toss of exactly that distance.

In additional to Andrew Martinez state leading mark it the 3000 meter steeplechase, he lead teammate Jonathan Saldana (10:09.55) under the regional qualifying mark. Oscar Mora, Jr. was an event winner in the 5000 meter run (15:50.91) to go along with his second place in the 1500 meters (4:09.32). Saldana and Williams Ordaz joined Mora under the 16:20 regional qualifying marks with their 16:11.76 and 16:14.07 times. Frosh Jacob Niles (4:09.77), Sergio Coronel (4:11.35), and Mario Perez, Jr. (4:13.54) all joined Mora under the regional qualifying mark in the 1500 meters. Eduardo Orozco was an event winner in the 800 meters with a season best 1:57.50. Sophomore Norman Napolitano produced a regional mark in the long jump with a lifetime best 21'6.25". Napolitano also helped the men's 4x100 relay team with Jordan Rodriguez, Joziah Garcia, and Ty Windham set a season best 43.43. Garcia set a season best in the 400 meters (50.61).

The Panther will travel north to Sacramento for the American River College Beaver Relays next Saturday. American River College will be the 2017 CCCAA State Championship host later this spring.