Mt. San Antonio repeats as 3C2A Men's and Women's Track and Field team champions

Mt. San Antonio College men's and women's track and field teams. (Photo by Chris Mora, CCCAA)
Mt. San Antonio College men's and women's track and field teams. (Photo by Chris Mora, CCCAA)


MODESTO - Mt. San Antonio College repeated as both men’s and women’s champions at the 3C2A finals Saturday at Modesto Junior College. The Mountie men were led by men’s track MVP Jonathan Zavala, winner of the 10,000 meters on Friday and second in the 5,000 meters on Saturday. The Mt. SAC women had field MVP Ahnyx Bush also score 18 points, winning the triple jump on Friday and taking second in the long jump on Saturday.
The Mt. SAC men ran up 175 1/2 points to finish ahead of San Diego Mesa College (110) and Riverside City College (98). In the women’s race, Mt. SAC tallied 151 1/2 points, outscoring Cerritos College (84) and SD Mesa (54).
San Diego Mesa opened track competition on Saturday afternoon with an impressive 1-2-3 sweep of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, led by season state leader Bryce Kueker in 9 minutes, 19.16 seconds.
He was followed to the finish by teammates David Millan (9:23.53) and Zak Beckwith (9:27.02). Kueker is the lone California CC runner to run under nine minutes this season, with a best of 8:53.12.
Mt. San Antonio executed the 4 x 100-meter relay well for a convincing win in 40.07 with a team of Namir Hemphill, Jacob Williams, Jake Jensen, and anchor Kerry Smith -- improving its own state season best (by .27). Host Modesto JC was a solid second in 40.73, holding off third place San Diego Mesa (40.80). 
Esteban Deniz of Hartnell took out the 1,500 meters early and led most of the race to win in a state season-best 3:51.01. He hit the bell in 2:51.51 and held off fast-charging Julius Largaespada of Glendale, the state leader coming in, who improved his best but took silver in 3:51.54. Bryce Gardhouse of Moorpark finished third in 3;56.92. 
Joshua Hornsby of Riverside defended his 110-meter hurdles title, running 13.85 to also improve upon his 2023 state season best of 13.87 and running faster than his 2022 winning time of 13.96. Anthony Taylor of El Camino was second in 14.27, Christian Baker of Mt. San Antonio third in 14.64, and Donovan Garcia of San Mateo fourth, improving his NorCal season lead to 14.69. The aiding wind was a legal 1.6 meters per second. 
Kwaku Owusu of Merritt took the 400 meters race out quickly and held off fast closing Jordon Smith of West Los Angeles. Owusu won in 47.77, with Smith clocking 48.09. Nick Felix of Mt. SAC was third in 48.11.
Jacob Williams of Mt. SAC closed strong in the 100 meters to win in 10.33, holding off Moray Steward of San Diego Mesa (10.38). They had come into the final as co-state leaders at 10.38. Jake Jensen of Mt. SAC took the bronze medal in 10.48. The wind was a legal 0.8 m.p.s. 
It was mostly a different cast in the 200. Kerry Smith of Mt. SAC had the best stretch run to take the gold in 21.37, ahead of teammate Jensen (21.44). Lamar Smith of SD Mesa was third (21.47) and NorCal champ Kwaku Owusu of Merritt was fourth (21.54). They had a negligible 0.1 aiding wind. 
Jake Beckwith of San Diego Mesa out-leaned Kyle Reden of Riverside in the 800 meters, as both tumbled to the track just past the finish line. Beckwith clocked 1:54.32 and Reden 1:54.36 in one of the day’s closest races. Luke Gleason of Riverside (who has the state season best of 1:51.03) was third in 1:54.66. James Neely of El Camino led after one lap in 55.87 but finished sixth. 
Josh Marlin of San Joaquin Delta repeated as 400-meter hurdles champion, winning a duel in 51.47 over 20223 state leader Ethan Dierke of San Rosa JC, who finished second in 51.81. Lincoln Marschall of El Camino took the bronze medal in 52.84. Dierke remains the state leader at 51.31.
Marco Perez of San Joaquin Delta took the lead in the 5,000 meters with five laps to go and was shadowed by 10,000 champ Jonathan Zavala of Mt. SAC for the remainder of the race. Perez pulled away on the final turn to win in 14:39.74, with Zavala settling for the silver medal in 14:43.12. Muhammed Ahmed of Chabot took bronze in 14:51.13. 
Mt. SAC won the concluding 4 x 400-meter relay, going wire to wire in a state season best 3:11.85 with a quartet of Thomas Scofano (48.5), Kerry Smith (48.5), Namir Hemphill (47.5) and Nick Felix (47.3). San Diego Mesa took silver in 3:14.86 and El Camino bronze (3:15.14).
Jeramiah Havens of San Diego Mesa weathered the 2-day decathlon completion with a winning point total of 6,939, improving upon his state-leading total of 6,618 entering the meet. This is also a national JC/CC season best.
Aaron Wood of host Modesto JC placed a close second with 6,899 points, No. 2 nationally. Ryan Gregory of Santa Barbara CC took bronze with 6,457 points. 
Crystal Raya of Bakersfield ran away with the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in 11:35.04, a bit shy of her state season-leading mark of 11:28.43. Ashley Ochoa of Hartnell won a great second-place battle in 11:49.92, just edging Karla Galvan of Mt. SAC (11:49.98). 
Hannah Hartwell began an ambitious day with a strong victory in the 1,500 meters in 4:32.26. She took the lead on lap two and pulled away from there. Sofia Camacho of Hartnell placed second in 4:38.01 and Destiny Lopez of Glendale was third in 4:39.49.
Hartwell then became a double winner, taking the 800 meters in 2:14.24, passing first-lap leader Trista Michael of Mt. SAC quickly on the gun lap. Michael was second in 2:15.68 and her Mountie teammate Natalyn Membreno was third (2:16.64). 
Hartwell completed an impressive triple, repeating as 5,000 meters champion near the end of the day in 17:12.83. The sophomore star took the lead from 10K champ Sage Holter of Santa Barbara with just over two laps to go and won handily. Holter was second (17:23.87) and early race leader Marikay Schwab of Golden West took third in 17:49.51. 
Hartwell is the national JC/CC leader this season at both 1,500 meters (4:29.63) and 5,000 (16:28.00).
A great anchor leg by Aryianna Faircloth carried Cerritos College past Mt. SAC just before the finish in the 4 x 100-meter relay for the win in 46.05. Kimora Rogers led off the Falcons quartet, followed by Rionna Wallace and Crystal Nguyen. Mt. SAC took the silver medal in 46.31, and Diablo Valley the bronze in 46.41. 
Jazzmine Davis of Cerritos came back after winning the heptathlon earlier in the day to take the 100 hurdles in 13.72, lowering her season lead from 13.92. Cyvanna Bowen of Mt. SAC was second in 13.79 and Neshara Smith of Bakersfield third in 13.86. 
Davis scored 4,704 points to win the heptathlon by more than 400 points and increase here state season lead by more than 100 points. Amelia Adamson of Yuba was second (4,269) and Ashyn Jory of San Joaquin Delta third (4,160)
Although Davis held the state season lead in the 400 hurdles (1:02.71), she could not get a third gold medal there. Defending champion Isela Ochoa of Merritt, in lane one, closed fast to win in the season’s best time, 1:02.67, followed by Alyssa Matsuzaki of El Camino (1:02.97), Ivy Miller of Sequoias (1:03.35), and Kathryn Tamminga of Long Beach (1:03.97). Davis got out slowly but came home strong for fifth in 1:04.59. 
State 400 leader Jaiden Hill of Mt. San Antonio took charge of that race on the backstretch and final turn, coming home strong in 55.05. She is the only state runner under 55 seconds this year, with a best of 54.43. 
Christina Trucks of Diablo Valley ran second in 55.94 and Aoife Hernon of Santa Monica third in 56.18.
Amari Weatherford of Mt. SAC took command of the 100 midway to win in 11.60, ahead of Rionna Wallace of Cerritos (11.73) and the Diablo Valley duo of Deserey Bryant and Desie Armstrong (who both clocked 11.83).
 Weatherford also took the 200 meters in 23.84, moving away from teammate Jaiden Hill down the stretch. Hill was second (24.20) and Deserey Bryan of Diablo Valley placed third (24.30). All the sprints had wind readings under the legal limits. 
West Los Angeles produced an “upset” in the meet concluding 4 x 400-meter relay, as anchor Hailey Adams closed for the win in 3:51.99, the best California time of the year. Chandler Smith led off and Jada Turner ran a key 56.6 second leg to put third runner Skye Harris in contention. Diablo Valley took second in 3:52.23 and Mt. SAC was third (3:53.69. 
Ariana Grum of Golden West had a huge personal best in the shot put, 43 feet, 9 3/4 inches, to win Saturday’s opening field event. That equaled the state season best held by Amani Britton of San Joaquin Delta, who finished third at 42-3 1/2. Grum came in with a best of 41-8 3/4. Kais Kimuli of San Diego Mesa took the silver medal with a personal best 43-7. 
Diablo Valley’s Desie Armstrong had the state’s first 20-foot long jump this season, 20-0 1/2, to win that event by nearly a foot over Ahnyx Bush of Mt. San Antonio (19-1 1/4). Neshara Smith of Bakersfield took third at 19-0 3/4. 
Madison Rauch of San Diego Mesa repeated as pole vault champion, winning with a clearance of 11-8. She leads the state this year at 11-9 3/4 and won the 2022 title at 12-3 1/2. Bailie Horton of Mt. SAC took the silver this time at 11-4 ¼, the same height cleared by Andie Aymond of Chabot for bronze. 
Kaela Estrada of San Diego Mesa threw the javelin 124-6 to win a tough competition. Sara Peters of Shasta was second at 116-7 and Angelina Escobar of Cerritos was third (114-6). Tearra Haneyy of Bakersfield, the state season leader at 125-9, finished ninth.
Neshara Smith of Bakersfield high jumped 5-3 1/4 to grab that event crown. Grace Gutierrez of Cuesta was second, Jenniece Pignley of Palomar third, and Alyssa Burke of Shasta fourth – all with tiebreakers at 5-2 1/4. 
Zachary Sims of Hartnell threw the men’s javelin, 200 feet, 10 inches on his fourth attempt, becoming the first California thrower to exceed the 200-foot mark this season. He also exceeded 200 feet on the final throw, 200-1. 
Matthew Mannino of Mt. SAC had hit a then-state season best at 199-2 on his second attempt and finished .second with that mark. He also won the silver medal in 2022. Jasper Kadlec reached 183-8 on his final throw to take third place.
Cesar Salazar of San Diego Mesa put the shot a state season-best 54-6 1/2 to upset defending champion and previous season leader Donal Aluesi of Riverside, who finished second at 54-2. Canaan Wharry of Yuba took the silver medal at 52-6.
Riverside’s Darius Hill, the national JC/CC season leader in the long jump (at 25-1 3/4), won that event with a 24-9 1/4 leap-–still better than any other California CC athlete has reached this season. Marcus Monroe of Mt. San Antonio placed second at 24-2 1/4, followed by Layne Buck of College of the Canyons (23-3 1/2).
Marcus Monroe of Mt. SAC high jumped 6-8 1/4 to win that event on fewer misses over Anthony Pigoni-Covington of Shasta, who cleared the same final height. Darius Hill of Riverside (the state season leader at 6-11) was third at 6-7. 
Ethan Amata of Mt. SAC won the pole vault with a national JC/CC season best of 17-0 3/4, beating teammate Jered Beasley (16-0). Shane Bagley of College of the Sequoias, who came in as the US leader at 17-0, took the bronze medal (15-8 1/4).
Women’s trackHannah Hartwell, sophomore, College of the Redwoods, winner of 800, 1,500, and 5,000.
Women’s field: Ahnyx Bush, sophomore, Mt. San Antonio, winner of triple jump; second in long jump.
Men’s track: Jonathan Zavala, freshman, Mt. San Antonio, winner of 10,000, second in 5,000.
Men’s field: Donal Aluesi, sophomore, Riverside, second in hammer throw and shot put, fifth in discus throw.
Women: 1.Mt. San Antonio, 151.5; 2. Cerritos, 84; 3. San Diego Mesa, 54; 4. Diablo Valley, 50; 5. Hartnell, 42.5; 
6. Bakersfield, 38; 7. College of the Redwoods, 33; 8. San Joaquin Delta, 32.5; 9. Riverside CC 30; 10. West Los Angeles, 25.  (39 colleges scored. 
Men: 1. Mt. San Antonio, 175.5; 2. San Diego Mesa, 110; 3. Riverside CC, 98; 4. Modesto JC, 38; 5. Hartnell, 32;  6. De Anza & El Camino, 26; 8. San Joaquin Delta & Merritt, 23; 10. Chabot 21. (37 colleges scored.) 
(Fred Baer, CCCSIA)