Fling and Avalos All-American on Day One of State

Hartnell male athlete third from right holding medal
Sophomore Jack Fling earns All-American honors for his third place in the pole vault.

The 2019 CCCAA Track & Field Championship hosted by College of San Mateo started with two All-American finishes by Hartnell College pole Vaulter Jack Fling and distance runner Jesus Avalos. The pole vault competition originally scheduled for Saturday was moved to late afternoon on Friday as rain was forecasted for Saturday's start time. Sophomore Jack Fling, who prepped at Palma High School, entered the competition at 4.45m and cleared that height on his first attempt. With the bar moved to 4.60m and several vaulters already eliminated, he cleared that height also on his first attempt. In 2018, Jack finished a disappointing eighth and failed to clear 14 feet. Going into just his third attempt in the 2019 final, he had already cleared two heights that would have placed him much higher as a freshman. The winner and top three medals would all determined at the next height of 4.75 (15'7"). Shane Peterson of West LA College would clear it on his first attempt. Victor Zuniga of Moorpark cleared it on his second. Jack would need an additional third attempt but would also clear his personal best-matching height. After some deliberation with the meet refereee, there would be no jump off despite all three failing to clear the next height of 4.90m (16'1"). Jack would move up five places and earned his first CCCAA All-American honors. Since graduating from Palma High School, Jack has added nearly two feet to his pole vault best and will look to continue his career at the four year university level.

In the 25 lap race, the 10,000 meters, freshman Jesus Avalos ran patiently at the back for the first half of the race reach in 15:57, sub 32:00 pace. Bringing in a season best of 32:36 to win the Northern California title, Avalos knew he was just halfway to a significant personal best but remained focused on outlasting the other men in the field for a top four All-American finish. By 20 laps, the former King City Mustang was in the top six with the top three runners in the field already having a significant gap on the rest of the field. Avalos would need to persevere longer than Norcal runner-up Oscar Perez of Sequoias and Matt Aruda of El Camino College. Thanks to a final revolution in 64 seconds, Avalos would finish fourth in 31:52.72 just ahead of Aruda's 31:53.66. Avalos took home the All-American honor in addition to a personal best of 44 seconds. The mark moves him up to eleventh best all-time in program history and will was the top mark by a freshman in California.