Battling high winds and competition from three conference schools and a handful of unattached athletes, the Pirates' men's and women's track and field teams claimed six gold medals at the Moorpark Open on Friday. Adan Cruz and Isaiah Batis each claimed individual track wins for the men and Jacob Guzman won the discus throw. For the women, Cynthia Tuzak won the discus while Lilly Christenson and Kimora Pooler won the long jump and shot put events, respectively. VC's 4x400m relay team also claimed a first place finish.
Cruz started the day on the track in the 1500m run with an aggressive front running tactic that held off a late surge by his pursuers by a scant two one hundreds of a second. Batis, running his first ever 800 meter race, lead early, relinquished the lead in the last 200 meters, only to regain his composure in the finals strides to garner his first ever middle distance victory. Rounding out the day on the track for Pirate victories, the men's 4x400 meter relay team of Jason Mesa, Batis, Donelle Smith, and Darren Houston also staged a come from behind win on the day's final track event.
In the field events, Christenson scored a personal record in the long jump, besting the competition for the win. Guzman joined Christenson with a PR in the men's discus throw, missing VC's Top-10 all-time by less than a foot. Pooler, the women's team's shot put leader took an early first round lead and never looked back for the victory while Tuzak won her second discus throw event in as many weeks attempting to solidify her spot as one of the top five platter chuckers in the southland.
Olivia Burton (second, 1500m), Reuben Jacob (second, shot put), Darius Johnson (second, discus), Jason Mesa (second, 400m), Brieanna Tafoya (second, 400m), Christenson (third, 100m and triple jump), Michelle Meugniot (third, 400m), Wyatt Stevenson (third, 200m), Tuzak (third, shot put) and Leslie Valoaga (third, discus) rounded out the Pirates who were top-3 finishers in their respective events.
"The team could have mailed in their performances when they realized the adverse wind conditions could hamper their times," commented head coach Tony Veney.
"But to my relief, the young people focused on executing their training and trying to put as many of the other school's jerseys behind them. This is going to pay off for us down the road should the championships experience the same conditions."
The Pirate squads travel to Lancaster Friday March 22, for the Marauders Invite hosted by Antelope Valley College. The meet is an early start for both the track and the field events starting at 10:00am.