During Spring Break, the Hartnell College track & field team split squads to the historic Stanford Invitational and Mike Fanelli Classic (formerly the SF State Distance Carnival). The week was highlighted by some of the fastest sprint and relay marks in recent school history lead by freshman De'Antae Williams, a former Seaside High School prep. A small contingent of athletes also competed across the bay at the Mike Fanelli Classic hosted by Chabot College and featuring programs from all levels and numerous states.
At the Stanford Invitational, Williams posted his lifetime best in the 100 meters running in the prelims on Friday. His time of 10.80 was good for eleventh overall and jumps the talented freshman to eleventh fastest all-time. On Saturday, Williams anchored the 4x100 meter relay to their best time of the season and a CCCAA State Auto mark of 42.12. The team of Williams, Timothy Hunter, Jakob Streeter, and Shraee Harrison inched closer to a possible state championship birth for a squad of all freshmen. The foursome also picked up a State "B" mark in the 4x400 meter relay with their season best 3:21.64. Both relay marks move the Panthers into the top 8 in Northern California as the squad heads into April.
Across Highway 92 in Hayward, freshman Jesus Avalos nearly jumped into the Northern California lead in the 5000 meters running a season best 15:32.24. He caught up to teammate Nicholas Merillana who ran amongst the heat leaders for nearly 4k before settling for a lifetime best 15:36.52. Victor Nambo (16:04.03) and Andres Rodriguez (16:22.50) also hit lifetime bests for the 12.5 lap race. Avalos returned Saturday for to post the top 2 mile mark (9:42.54). Merillana ran his second best 800 meters of his career (1:59.30). Freshman Arturo Ponce ran a gutsy solo 2:02.96 lifetime best. In the field events, Wyatt Conner hit three personal bests. His first was a Norcal qualifying shot put 13.63m. Second was his hammer toss Thursday of 45.17m. Lastly Conner, tossed the discus to 35.97m. Guy Gida (36.12m) and Thomas Balian (35.78m) also hit season bests in the hammer.
The Panthers will compete next in the annual Hartnell vs DeAnza "Duel" Meet which traditionally decides the eventually Coast Conference team champion later in the season.