Panther Men Come Up Short of Conference Title

Panther Men Come Up Short of Conference Title
The Hartnell College men's track & field team does not lose the conference championship that often winning on average over 70% of the titles since the 80's but on Saturday they experienced their first lost since 2012. That year they lost by seven points and in this year's edition by just 9 points. It was not for a lack of effort as Panther men took seven of the scoring positions in two events and placed six and four in two others. They won 3k steeplechase, 1500 meters, 800 meters, 5000 meters, and 10,000 meters. The ladies took an expected second place but enjoyed conference overall champions in the 1500 meters, 5000 meters, 10,000 meters, and long jump.

For the men, Andrew Martinez was victorious in the 10,000 meters (32:35.57) to lead a sweep of the top seven spots. He was followed by Jorge Sanchez (33:21.29) and Mario Perez, Jr. (33:23.63) in the medal positions. Martinez repeated his 3k steeplechase victory in 9:57.47 to lead frosh Jonathan Saldana (9:58.88) to a silver medal. Jorge Sanchez won the 5000 meters (15:23.98) with Oscar Mora, Jr. (15:46.45) taking bronze. Eduardo Orozco took the Northern CA lead with his 1500 meter winning time of 3:57.22. Former King City HS teammate Edgar Bonilla was bronze in 3:58.60. Bonilla was also a surprise winner of the 800 meters (1:57.91) with Orozco switching spots in third (1:59.52). Freshman Joziah Garcia almost stole the 400 meters in his first championship earning silver with his second best time of the season (49.56). Thomas Salao jumped one spot of his ranking in winning the javelin with an all-time top 20 throw of 167-4. The men's 4x100 meter relay team of Salao, Jordan Rodriguez, Tyrell Windham, and Joziah Garcia lowered their season best to 42.58 to take second place. The men's 4x400 team of Garcia, Orozco, Adam Alnazer, and Sean Failano lowered their season best significantly to prepare for the regional trials by running 3:27.80. 

Sophomore Yvette Felix picked up three conference individual titles after only scoring points in events as a freshman. Felix easily won the 10,000 meters on Wednesday in a lifetime best 40:18.89. She also won the 1500 meters (5:04.57) and 5000 meters (19:43.58). Felix also placed fourth in the 800 meters (2:28.11) for her second best time of the season. Freshman Haley Romero improved on her both her long jump and 100 hurdles heading into the regional championship. She was the long jump champion with a season best 18-3 and the first time over 18 feet this season. Romero also placed second in the 100 hurdles in a lifetime best 15.30. Chelsea Andrade took third in the hammer on Wednesday and fourth in the discus. Freshman Jocelyn Cervantes was fourth in the 10,000 meters, third in the 1500 meters in a season best 5:13.64, and second in the 5000 meters (20:01.17). Yvette Taverez was third for bronze in the 3000 meter steeplechase (12:55.35). Sophomore Beatriz Duarte picked up a State "B" qualifying mark in the 10,000 meters on Wednesday in 40:47.88. 

The men's and women's 10,000 meter runners will compete in the state qualifying race on Thursday at 6pm and 7pm at DeAnza College in Cupertino. The trials of field and running events will take place on Friday starting at 10:00am.