Salazar State Auto Highlights First Wildcat Cup

Two Hartnell women running around curve of track
Freshman Daniela Salazar takes the lead in the 800 meters at the Wildcat Cup
There are a total of seven California community college programs that are lead by graduates of CSU Chico who also competed for the NCAA Division II program during their undergraduate careers. Five of those programs converged on the campus of host Chabot College for the first annual Wildcat Cup. The five programs who attended this scored meet were host Chabot, Hartnell College, Yuba College, Santa Rosa College, and Cuesta College representing Southern California. The Hartnell College women were victorious in this first year meeting with 185.40 points to second place Chabot with 123.40. On the men's side, Santa Rosa Junior College men tallying the most points with 155 to host Chabot with 147. Hartnell College was third with 126 points. 
Freshman Daniela Salazar had a relatively quiet start to her spring track season after an All-American cross country fall. Despite having the second best 1500 and 3000 meters in Northern California  and the top mark in the 800 meters after three weeks of competition, she had yet to show the form that saw her run 2:14 in high school. On Saturday, with sophomore Monica Ruelas setting a blistering first lap pace, Salazar took over the final 200 meters of the race to become the first state qualifier in Northern California at 2:19.51. The mark took nearly nine seconds off her season best and moved her to ninth all-time in program history with her Irene Orozco's 2:15.36 within reach this spring. Sophomore Monica Ruelas was rewarded with her aggressive front running with a lifetime best of 2:21.48 and a State B qualifying mark. The pair are the only two currently eligible to represent Northern California at the state championship. Sophomore Dakota Peebles picked up a provisional mark in her first 400m low hurdles (1:12.13). Peebles, Ruelas, Salazar and Veronica Aguilar took the 4x400 meter victory with a season best 4:19.04. Salazar, Ruelas paired with Nina Arias and Maria Aceves for a win in the rarely run distance medley relay (13:11.97) which is the fourth best time in the state. Sophomores Tyshell Johnson-Hill won the shot put (35'9.25"). Frosh Shaelynne Smith had a season best in the 100 meter hurdles (17.21). 

The Panthers will split squads with a majority of the team heading to the Jack Albiani Invitational hosted by Modesto Junior College on Friday. A handful of distance runners will go south to Eagle Rock for the Occidental Spring Break Distance Carnival on Saturday in an effort to secure state automatic marks in the 5000 meters.