The Ventura College men's and women's track teams hosted the Western State Conference Championships Friday afternoon for the first time since the all-weather track was installed at the VC Sportsplex 13 years ago. The Pirate women took the silver team trophy placing second behind champion West Los Angeles while the men finished in fourth place overall in the highly contested meet. Valexsia Droughn led the VC women with a pair of individual gold medal performances and was part of a first place relay team. Darrell Handy-Johnson won the lone gold medal for the Pirate men, taking first in the high jump, winning a tie-breaker against his twin brother Terrell Handy-Johnson, who claimed the silver.
The top-6 individuals and relays in each event qualified for the CCCAA SoCal Regional Preliminaries Saturday May 5 on the campus of San Diego Mesa College.
West Los Angeles ran away with the conference title with 152 points, followed by the Pirates with 115. Moorpark was third with 94.5 points.
The scoring for the women started with a bang as the 4x100 meter relay team of Droughn, Eden Hahn, Sydney Eads, and Sandra Harness flew to a 48.92 win, the fourth-fastest in school history. Droughn would return later to win the 100 meters in her fourth school record of the season, 11.83, and topped off her day with a 200-meter win with a mark of 25.22, the second fastest in program history. Other Pirates punching their tickets to the SoCal Regionals in San Diego included: Hahn (100, 200 meters & 4x400 Relay), Serenity Valoaga (Javelin, Discus & Shot Put), Krystal Tapia (Hammer & Discus), Harness (High Jump & 100m Hurdles), Eads (400 meters & 4x400 Relay), Ashley Valdavinos (1500 meters), Andrea Rios (100m Hurdles), Brihana Romero (400 meters & 4x400 Relay), Karen Reyes (400 meter Hurdles & 4x400 Relay), Marissa Gonzales (5k), Fabiola Gomez-Flores (5k), and Macy Schmidt (10k).
The VC men put up a good fight for the 2018 title, but could not overcome a false start disqualification and injury in the 100 meters, falling to the fourth position with 88.5 points. Glendale came out on top in one of the closest team battles in recent memory scoring 112 points followed closely by West LA with 110, and Cuesta with 105.
The 100-meter meltdown cost the Ventura 20 points. Additionally, Jordan Gibson's injury in the 100 forced him out of the 200 meters, where he was ranked No. 2 headed to the finals, and off the 4x400 meter relay. However, Gibson had automatically qualified for the SoCal's earlier in the year, thus sending him to regionals next week.
Despite the setback, the Pirate men still dug in with the following Pirates qualifying for San Diego: Daniel Burquez (Javelin), Nikolas Ramirez (Javelin), Darrell H-J (Long Jump, High Jump, & Triple Jump), Terrell H-J (High Jump & Triple Jump), Kamar Wilson (High Jump & 4x100 Relay), Chris Lawry (Pole Vault), Ronnie Parker (Triple Jump & 4x100 Relay), Alex Ambriz (3k Steeplechase), Daniel Alejandre (Discus), David Lopez (4x100 Relay), Jordan Gibson (100 meters & 4x100 Relay), Max Carmona (800 meters), Dillon Chong (400 Hurdles), and Adan Cruz (5k & 10k).
"Both squads dug deep today as we head into the last three weeks of the season," commented head coach, Tony Veney.
"We were riding high after the two relays ran so well, but what made the staff proud was how the team pulled together after we had a setback.
"Altogether, we are sending 27 young people to the Regionals and that's exciting."
The Field events in San Diego start at 9:00 am on Saturday May 5 while the first running event goes off at 11:00 am.
|Men's Results||Women's Results|
|Glendale||112||West Los Angeles||152|
|West Los Angeles||110||VENTURA||115|
|Antelope Valley||30||Antelope Valley||26|
|Santa Barbara||29||Allan Hancock||22|