A week before the Western State Conference Championships, the Ventura College track and field team sent a skeleton crew to Santa Barbara City College for the annual Santa Barbara Easter Open. Even though several Pirate athletes were either resting or training through this competition, It did not deter David Lopez from making an impact as he posted a personal record in claiming first place in the 100 meters. Darrell Handy-Johnson claimed gold in the high jump and the Pirates also had several top-3 performances at La Playa Stadium.
Lopez took control from the get-go of the men's 100 meters and held off a late surge by the field to record a 10.89 win and a personal record. The time was not only a personal best for Lopez, but also helped him climb up the conference standings from 11th to a tie for fourth.
The Pirates also had a gold medal day in the men's high jump as Darrell Handy-Johnson, Kamar Wilson, and Terrell Handy-Johnson all cleared 6'7" with Darrell H-J winning the competition on fewer misses, followed by Wilson and Terrell H-J for second and third, respectively.
Good sprint news came when Eden Hahn placed second in the 200 meters coming off a sore hamstring which kept her out of competition for the last three weeks.
Dillon Chong's third place finish in the 400 hurdles with a personal record of 58.29 rounded out the medalist for the Pirates.
"This meet gave the team an opportunity to try some new events, train hard, or just rest up for the next five weeks leading up to the state meet in Bakersfield," commented head coach Tony Veney. "The next two weeks will go a long way to helping us see if we are on point toward the last of this year's major meets."
Te first leg of the championship season begins on Friday April 20 as the Pirates travel to Santa Monica College for the WSC Preliminaries. Both field and running events start at 12 noon. The WSC Finals will be held Friday April 27 at the VC Sportsplex with the top-6 in the conference advancing to the SoCal Prelims at San Diego Mesa College, on May 5.