SACRAMENTO, Calif. - For just the second time in Hartnell College history, the Panthers were victorious at the Northern California Championship, taking top honors at Sacramento City College last weekend.
The last time the women were the overall team champions was 21 years ago in 1997. With scorers in 16 events, the Panthers were able to outdistance American River College by 10 points taking the title with 126 points to the second-place Beavers with 116 points. Sophomores Sherise Robinson and Haley Romero contributed 25 and 23 points of the 126 along with another 8 points as two members of the second place 4x100 meter relay. Distance runners Lauryn Orozco contributed 18 points, Jocelyn Cervantes 16 points, and Monica Ruelas with 11 points as those totaled double digits.
Sophomore Haley Romero was the lone Panther to win an individual event moving from fifth last year to the top podium spot in the long jump. Sherise Robinson took second in the 400 meters (58.72), Haley Romero in the triple jump (11.05m), and Lauryn Orozco also was second in the 5000 meters (19:13.55). The women's 4x100 meter relay team of Romero, Robinson, Veronica Aguilar, and Gerilynn Omictin will represent the North at the CCCAA State Championship with their second-place finish. Robinson and Orozco were bronze medalists in the 200 meters (26.03) and 10,000 meters (41:09.81). Jocelyn Cervantes was third in the 5000 meters (19:19.41) along with Monica Ruelas in a blustery 1500 meters slowed strong winds (5:14.22). Maria Aceves picked up a third-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase (12:37.54) and will advance to state by virtue of her automatic qualfiying mark attained at the Coast Conference Championship.
Other Panthers contributing toward the team title by virtue of a top-8 placing were Haley Romero fourth in the 100m hurdles, Jocelyn Cervantes fourth in the 1500 meters and 10,000 meters, the women's 4x400 relay, and Lauryn Orozco in the 1500 meters placed in fifth overall. Sherise Robinson was sixth in the javelin and Nina Arias the same in the 3k steeplechase. Maria Aceves picked up seventh in the 10,000 meters and eighth in the 1500 meters with Olivia Jimenez seventh in the 800 meters. Monica Ruelas was eighth in both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Leilani Russell in the javelin and Dakota Peebles in the 400m hurdlers and Anesa Vanderlipe in the triple jump were eighth adding one point each.
Those who have achieved automatic qualifying marks to the state championship include Sherise Robinson (heptathlon and 400 meters), Haley Romero (long jump and triple jump), and Maria Aceves (3k steeplechase). Those with State "B" marks who will have to await final declarations include Lauryn Orozco (5000m and 10,000m). The women's 4x100 meter relay team also has a "B" mark. The CCCAA State Track & Field Championship will be held May 18-19 at Bakersfield College.
(Christopher Zepeda, Hartnell College Athletics)