SAN DIEGO, CA — The Huskies women’s track and field team took a small team to the 2016 Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Scoring Meet at Point Loma Nazarene University, but finished with strong results.
Sophomore Viridiana Hernandez (South Gate HS) placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase run against mostly four-year university competition.
She place first among California community college competition edging West Los Angeles College sophomore Carly Alanis De La Cruz 12:36.37 minutes to 12:49.14.
De La Cruz led Hernandez the first 6.5 laps.
“I started off slow because of the long wait after warm ups. I tried to keep up with her (De La Cruz) and made my move when it felt comfortable for me,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez passed De La Cruz with about a lap left. With less than half of a lap to the finish line, De La Cruz picked up her pace. Hernandez made a sprint-like move with 150 meters left as De La Cruz approached.
Hernandez then sprinted the last 100-meters, to outdistance De La Cruz by 12.77 seconds.
It was Hernandez’s first steeplechase competition in two years. The ELAC sophomore has the sixth-fastest time in Southern California.
Sophomore teammate Guadalupe Yanez (Bell Gardens HS) also has a top-10 time in Southern California, in the 10,000-meter run. The Point Loma Nazarene meet did not have a 10,000 run.
Yanez ran a lifetime best in the 800-meter run and finished the 1,500-meter run in 5:34.93.
ELAC sophomore Ruby Padilla (Montebello HS) beat all community college competition in the 1,500 run and finished in 5:07.70.
Padilla placed second in the 800 run against community college athletes. She also ran to a personal record in the 800 run in 2:32.55, as did Hernandez with a time of 2:36.35.
Sophomores Luz Badillo (Alhambra HS) and Melissa Preciado (Bell Gardens HS) competed in both the 800 and 1,500 runs. Badillo ran both races with their personal best times.
ELAC takes its full women’s team to their next meet, which is on Friday, March 26 at the Santa Barbara City College Easter Relays.
submitted by Tadzio Garcia