WALNUT, CA — The 2015-26 East Los Angeles College men’s track and field team kicked off the season with a first place win in the shot put at the Mt. San Antonio College Season Opener.
Husky sophomore Cesar Santiesteban (Cathedral HS) threw 44.16 feet to win the shot put event by two feet. His season opening mark was just short of his 44.22 mark that he threw in the SoCal Championships last year.
Santiesteban also took second place in the javelin throw behind Mt. SAC freshman Jeffrey Pulcher. Both men blew away the competition with their marks by more than 30 feet.
“It was the first time Cesar competed in the javelin,” said ELAC Head Coach Louis Ramirez. “He did exceptionally well in the opening meet. He works very hard and we expect him to do well this year in multiple events.”
Santiesteban already has one of the top shot put throws in the state.
ELAC freshmen Kyle Hua (Alhambra HS) and Jonathan Paredes (Alhambra HS) placed 13th and 14th, respectively, in the shot put in a field of 37.
The Huskies took seventh place in the 4 x 100-meter relay—freshmen, Shiloh Jordan (Baltimore Newton HS), Arturo Martinez (Jefferson HS), Sherrod Crayton (Manual Arts HS) and Robin Joseph (Bravo Medical Magnet HS).
ELAC took sixth place in a field of 14 in the 4 x 800-meter relay with sophomore Justin Torres (Alhambra HS), freshman Enrique Angulo (El Rancho HS), freshman Adam Ochoa (South Gate HS) and sophomore Fernando Jauregui (Hollywood HS). Jauregui’s sprint down the stretch helped the Huskies edge Southwestern College by 3.81 seconds.
Five ELAC distant runners competed in a field of 62 athletes in the men’s 3,000-meter run.
Freshman Jose Maya (Bell HS) finished ninth in his heat followed by Torres, Angulo and sophomore Agustin Arias (Montebello HS), a transfer last year from Rio Hondo College, which dropped its track and field program.
The Huskies competed without sophomore sensation Cristian Flores (Bell Gardens HS) who is injured. Flores’ stats as a freshman, along with Santiesteban’s, put them on a short list of advancing to the state finals this season as well as being legitimate All-American candidates.
ELAC had three All-Americans last season in five-time recipient Laura Aceves, who consistently had the fastest time in the nation in the women’s steeplechase, Kaniya Bawlson in the women’s long jump and Joshua Taylor in the men’s triple jump.
ELAC sports some quality sprinters according to Ramirez, some of whom have yet to compete. “Once we have a full team, we will have a strong team,” said Ramirez.
Flores and others Huskies should be ready to compete at the Huskies next meet, the Cerritos Opener on Saturday, Feb. 27, beginning at 10 a.m.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia