Sophomore Monica Ruelas has set her sights on a historic Northern California run in her final season for the Panthers. Heading into April, the former Gilroy High school runner, is top ranked in the 1500 meters, 3000 meters, 5000 meters, and 10,000 meters and carries a third ranking in the 800 meters. Running in one of the final heats of the 5000 meters at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic, formerly known as the SF State Distance Carnival, Ruelas lowered her 5000 meter best to 18:03.55 to move to second all-time in program history. She jumped ahead of former Olympian Maria Trujillo and the old school record of 18:04. She came up just short of joining All-American Malena Grover as the only Panthers to ever cover the 12.5 lap race in under 18 minutes. The mark makes Ruelas the top ranked runner in Northern California and third in the state. This is a remarkable improvement from last year when Ruelas only had a best of 19:13 in the event.
Also running in the 5000 meters, freshman Isabelle Torres found the longer race distance to her liking taking her second best down to 18:49.91. The mark gives the fresman from Salinas High School a State "B" mark and is the fourth best in Northern California and tops for a freshman. She returned to the track on Saturday and posted a lifetime best 11:41.10 in the 2 mile run. Freshman Shaelynne Smith dropped her season best in the 100m hurdles to 16.71 and 100 meters to 13.49. Nerina Campos and Nina Arias nearly ran identical times in the 1500 meters producing 5:11.72 and 5:11.89. Campos also had a lifetime best in the 800 meters (2:30.21) to qualify to the Northern California Championship. Idalys Romero returned from spring break in time to hit a season best discus of 32.83m.
Hartnell College will compete in its annual dual meet with DeAnza College on Tuesday. In their first two meetings, the colleges have split the series. The dual meet traditionally produces the eventual conference team champion.