Panther Men a Surprise Second Heading into Finals

Panther Men a Surprise Second Heading into Finals
The Hartnell College men's track & field team has a surprise team lead in the Northern California Championship due to strong performances two weeks ago in the decathlon and in Thursday's 10,000 meter run. The Panthers have a 22 point lead over the next closest team heading into next Saturday's Northern California Championship to be held at DeAnza College in Cupertino. Norman Napolitano and Clemente Villareal provided five team points in the decathlon and the quintet of Jorge Sanchez, Mario Perez, Jr., Williams Ordaz, Oscar Mora, Jr. and Angel Mejia, Jr. all provided team score points in the 25 lap event held last Thursday at DeAnza College.

Jorge Sanchez lead every lap of the 10,000 meter run to claim the victory in 31:59.71. Sanchez moved up from 3rd last year. He will look to do the same in this weekend's 5000 meter run where he holds the regional lead time. He was followed by Mario Perez, Jr. who has enjoyed a rash of personal bests since the halfway mark in the season. He was clocked in a new personal best 32:20.09 to take silver. Williams Ordaz placed fifth overall in a state "B" qualifying mark 33:00.59 and will have to await word whether his season will be extended to the CCCAA Championship in Roseville. Oscar Mora, Jr. also moved up from last year's championship placing sixth this year in 33:04.09. He was followed by Angel Mejia, Jr. in 33:06.08. All totaled the Panthers racked up 27 team points in just this one event. In the men's 1500 meter run qualifying, Eduardo Orozco lead all advancers with a heat winning 3:57.36. Also winning his heat to advance to Saturday's final was fellow King City Mustang Edgar Bonilla. Bonilla had the third best time in 3:59.52. They will be joined by Sergio Coronel (4:05.12), Jorge Sanchez (4:06.78), Patrick Olson (4:08.61) and Mario Perez, Jr. nabbing the last qualfiying spot in 4:09.83. The Panther will send five to the line in the field of 12 runners with a great opportunity to add to their team score. Orozco was the lone Panther to advance to the 800 meter final with an event leading 1:54.53. Frosh Adam Alnazer missed qualifying by one spot but was rewarded with a lifetime best 1:57.40. Bonilla also failed to advance but recorded a season best 1:57.51. Freshman Joziah Garcia advanced to his first regional final in the 400 meters as the ninth seed.

For the women, Yvette Felix moved up nine spots in one year in the 10,000 meter championship final. She easily placed second in a lifetime best 39:49.84. The mark makes her the seventh best performer in school history all of which have eclipsed the 40:00 barrier. Felix has lowered her time by nearly 90 seconds since last season. Sophomore Beatriz Duarte was ninth in 42:09.03. Freshmen Jocelyn Cervantes (43:12.20) and Leslie Oseguera (43:12.39) placed eleventh and twelfth overall. Freshman Haley Romero was third in long jump qualifying (17-5.25). Olivia Jimenez and Elizabeth Hernandez both advanced to next Saturday's 800 meter run final. Jimenez recorded her second best time of the season (2:24.82) with Hernandez putting forth her best effort of the second year (2:27.65). Both helped the 4x400 relay team move on with 4:20.82. Sophomore Chelsea Andrade was a double qualifier. Andrade was the fifth best qualifier in the hammer throw (137-9) and seventh in the discus (113-10). Marissa Gonzales failed to advance in the triple jump and javelin. The women's 4x100 meter relay decimated by injuries also failed to move on to Saturday's final despite posting one of the best time in school history at 49.66 early in the season.

Saturday's field events will begin at 10:00am with the women's 3k steeplechase starting off the running events at 1:15pm at DeAnza College in Cupertino.