Where are they now? – Gonzalo Ceja, Track and Field
BRADENTON, FL — East Los Angeles College All-American Gonzalo Ceja, a member of the California State University Los Angeles track and field team, ran in his second consecutive NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Ceja placed ninth in the preliminary round today of the 2016 Championships with a time of 9:21.55 minutes.
He qualified to the Championships with a provisional time and a 2016 personal record of 9:02.98 in a last chance meet, the All-On-The-Line Nationals Qualifier at Westmont College on May 14.
His time boosted him to the No. 20 spot in the nation, which was one bid short of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Ceja, however, received a bid last week when a qualifier scratched.
This is the second year in a row Ceja qualified into the NCAA Championships following his time in a last chance meet.
Last year, he ran a lifetime best of 9:01.97 minutes at the Occidental Invitational, the 2015 last chance meet, which he says is his most exciting experience in sports.
“Gonzalo was an excellent competitor at ELAC,” said ELAC Head Coach Louis Ramirez. “He walked on the team with no high school experience in sports, worked hard and became All-American in his sophomore year.”
As a member of the ELAC men’s track and field team, Ceja was the 2014 SoCal steeplechase champion with an upset run against the favored and eventual 2014 state steeplechase champion, Ryan Maize of Cuyamaca College.
At Cal State L.A., Ceja was the 2016 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) champion in the steeplechase.
Last season Ceja earned All-West Region honors and placed third in the CCAA Championships steeplechase run.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia