The Pirates' men's and women's track and field teams sent 19 athletes to the Western State Conference Championships Friday at Moorpark College. At the end of the day, 15 qualified for the Southern California Regionals with the women placing third in the conference and the men taking eighth place. The performances were highlighted by Leslie Valoaga who become the first VC thrower in 10 years to advance to SoCal's in all four throwing disciplines.
On the track, the day started with the men's 4x100 relay team of Jaedon Rogers, Brandon Sarmiento, Dillon Chong and Wyatt Stevenson running together for the first time as a unit still grabbing the fifth-place qualifying spot. The women's 4x400 relay team of Lilly Christenson, Michelle Meugniot, Maria Elizarraraz and Brieanna Tafoya placed second while the men's 4x400 relay team of Isaiah Batis, Alan Nichols, Jason Mesa and Darren Houston qualified for SoCal's in fourth position. In between the relay successes, Tafoya (second in the 800m), Olivia Burton (fourth in the 5K), Batis (fifth in the 400m) and Nichols (sixth in the 400m) all scored as SoCal qualifiers.
In the field events, Valoaga placed fourth in the javelin and fifth in the hammer. These finishes, along with her fourth place finishes in the shot put and discus last week, makes herthe first Pirate thrower in a decade to move to the regionals in all four disciplines. Shot put champion Kimora Pooler placed fifth in the javelin giving her three events for next week's regionals, including the shot and discus from competition a week ago.
The Pirate women came in third in the team scoring with 91 points. West Los Angeles took the team title with 189 points, followed by Cuesta at 118.5, VC, Moorpark with 90.5 and Bakersfield and Santa Monica, each with 82.
The Ventura men came in eighth with West LA, Moorpark, Canyons, Glendale and Cuesta rounding out the top five teams.
"I am really happy for this group of young people advancing to (the regionals in) Riverside," said head coach Tony Veney. "It's another week of advance or vacation as we work our way to the state meet."
The Southern California Regional Preliminaries will be held Saturday May 3 at Riverside City College. Field events start at 9:30 am and the running events begin at 11:00 am.