The VC men's and women's track and field teams traveled to the Southern California Preliminaries Saturday in San Diego. Nineteen athletes made the trip south with 14 Pirates earning a return trip for the SoCal Finals on Saturday May 12 at San Diego Mesa College. Leading the charge for Ventura was Valexsia Droughn on the women's side along with Darrell Handy-Johnson, Terrell Handy-Johnson and Kamar Wilson.
Wilson, Darrell H-J and Terrell H-J all tied for first in the men's high jump qualifying clearing 6'3". Darrell also qualified in the men's long and triple jump, while his brother Terrell led all triple jump qualifiers as the No. 1 seed for next week. Other men advancing to next week's finals included automatic qualifiers Daniel Burquez and Nikolas Ramirez in the Javelin, Adan Cruz in the 5k run and Daniel Alejandre in the Discus.
"We took a couple of hits on the men's side," commented head coach Tony Veney. "When you go against the best in our region, the margin for error shrinks to very uncomfortable levels as exemplified when 800-meter man Max Carmona missed making the final by 0.28 second."
Droughn continues to excel as she won both her 100-meter and 200-meter heats to advance to next week's finals. She came in with another school record in the 100, finishing with a mark of 11.75. Eden Hahn in the 100 meters, Karen Reyes in the 400-meter hurdles join the 4x400 relay team of Hahn, Reyes, Brihana Romero, and Sydney Eads, as finals qualifiers. Marissa Gonzales and Fabiola Gomez-Flores in the 5k are also regional finalists.
"The women's 4x100 relay was highly ranked coming in but dropped the baton and failed to advance," said Veney. "Tough break with the relay, but the young women stayed focused and ran well the rest of the day."
The SoCal Regional Finals start with field events at 9:00 am and running events at 2:30 pm in San Diego on Saturday May 12.