Throwers, distance runners take center stage during first day of CCCAA Track and Field Championships at Mt. SAC

Chris Buck of American River went 172-7 in the hammer throw to win the state championship on Friday. (Photo by Daryl Peterson)
Chris Buck of American River went 172-7 in the hammer throw to win the state championship on Friday. (Photo by Daryl Peterson)
 
WALNUT – When state leader Ivy Duong stepped into the ring for her final attempt in the women’s hammer throw, the Fresno City College freshman was in fifth place. She calmly flipped the 4 kg ball and chain 156 feet, 6 inches, at Mt. San Antonio College to become the first California Community College Athletic Association track and field champion since 2019 (following a 2-season COVID imposed hiatus). 
 
Duong was one of two NorCal hammer throw winners on the first day of the state meet, joining Chris Buck of American River who captured the men's title.
 
This was the first year throwing the hammer for the 2019 Reedley High graduate, who just added the event to her repertoire in the fall. “It’s crazy. I’m shocked,” said Duong. “I did the shot and discus in high school and this is the first time I’ve ever advanced this far.”
 
She tried to remain calm approaching the last throw. “Coach told me don’t worry too much, just trust my ability,” she said.
 
Duong ranks No. 2 nationally among community college athletes with her season and personal best of 170-11 --  therefore knew she had the ability to win. She threw 144-4 on her first attempt and, after three fouls, improved to fifth place at 149-2 in the penultimate fifth round. 
 
Isabella Reimann of Hartnell College had taken the lead at 156-4 on her first throw, just five inches shy of her own personal best. That held up for second place. Sage Coyle of De Anza finished third with a fifth-round toss of 151-9.  
 
Duong qualified for the state finals in three events here, so will be in the shot put and discus throw on Saturday.
She plans to transfer to Stanislaus State University next season. 
 
OTHER FRIDAY EVENTS: 
The men's hammer throw was won by Chris Buck of American River College at 172-7 (on his fourth throw), ahead of Chance Hefter of College of the Redwoods (164-7) and Lamont Lane of Fresno (163-2) -- completing a Northern California sweep of both competitions.
 
While the hammer was contested at Mt. SAC’s established throwing facility, Friday’s javelin throws were the first state events contested inside the spectacular rebuilt Hilmer Lodge Stadium.
 
Jolie Robinson of Saddleback College took the women’s javelin at 130-10, beating Jose Peterson (129-4) of Redwoods and Cheyenne Peebles (120-2) of Monterey Peninsula. Peterson is the state season leader at 133-7.
 
Kyle Wood of San Diego Mesa College threw the men’s javelin 184-1 on his fourth attempt to drop previous event leader Matthew Mannino of host Mt. SAC (182-9) into second place and win the competition. Matthew Ballentine of College of the Canyons took third with his final throw, 174-7. 
 
ON THE TRACK: The lone track events contested Friday were the 10,000 meters.
Mannat Gill of De Anza College broke away from Kimberly Pena of Mt. SAC over the last thousand meters of the women’s race to win in 37:11.18. Pena was second in 37:35.10, ahead of teammate Hannah Brown (38:01.30).
 
That gave De Anza the first-day women’s team scoring lead with 18 points, followed by Mt. SAC (17). Sharing third with ten points are Redwoods, Fresno, and Saddleback.  
 
Host Mt. SAC produced a 1-2 finish in the men’s 10K with Daniel Abdala (30:20.39) and Jesus Alvarado (30:30.36).
That enabled the Mounties to pace the men’s teams with 30 points, followed by San Diego Mesa (23), American River (17), Fresno (11), and Redwoods (8). 
 
COMBINED EVENTS: 
In combined events competition, the first-day leader in the men’s decathlon is Max Daniels of Mt. SAC, with 3,693 points -- followed by Jeramiah Havens of San Diego Mesa (3,472) and Jordan Ausble of De Anza (3,407).
 
The women’s heptathlon pacesetter is Saddleback’s javelin champ Robinson -- with 2,755 points. Emily Johnson of Santa Rosa is second (2,661) and Yukina Hamachi of El Camino third, just six points further back (2,655). Robinson will be in position to strengthen her lead on Saturday, throwing the javelin again -- in the Hept. 
 
(Fred Baer, CCCSIA)