Track team runs over competition
As the marine layer slowly blanketed the Santa Barbara Relays held at Santa Barbara City College on Friday, the near perfect conditions aided a handful of Santa Monica College runners on their way to setting personal bests in their respective events.
Also competing in the meet were independent track club runners as well as unattached competitors. Unattached runners technically have no affiliation with a school on the day of the meet, but are still allowed to compete as red-shirt freshmen. The competitor still gets to compete and gain valuable experience, but their scores do not count toward a team total.
One of the first SMC competitors to kick things off was returning 200 and 400-meter runner Drew Brown who attempted the 800-meter for the first time ever and ran a very respectable 1:55.
"I think I could run a few seconds faster," said Brown. If Brown could shave a few seconds off his time in the coming weeks, that would put him among the fastest in the state at that distance.
Distance runner Terrence Luevano ran a personal best of 4:01 in the 1500-meter, taking second among community college runners in the event.
"I think I could run faster," said Luevano, "I felt relaxed throughout the race."
Luevano also posted a time of 1:58 in the 800-meter, coming from behind to within .02 seconds of second place, but ultimately finished third. Although he took third overall, he was the highest placing community college competitor in the event.
"I felt tight during the 800-meter," said Luevano. Despite tightening up, Luevano still managed to gain a lot of ground on independent Track and Field Factory runner Rocky Peterson who lunged at the last second, barely beating Luevano and securing second place.
SMC Freshmen Baldomero Cruz and Fernando Alvarado also set personal bests. Cruz posted a time of 4:12 and Alvarado a 4:17 in the 1500-meter. Cruz also came back to run a respectable 2:03 in the 800-meter.
Representing the Lady Corsairs was Ashley Bootesaz who led the women's distance team in the 800-meter, posting a time of 2:29. Her time was five seconds faster than her time from last year. It was also her first ever under 2:30 finish.
Devyn Ruiz again showed her versatility by placing in the top five in the 100-meter hurdles as well as helping SMC place second in the 4-by-100 meter relay. She also placed fifth in the 4-by-400 meter relay and second in the long jump among community college competitors.
Finally, she took second in the triple jump among community college competitors behind teammate Katrina Tate and even after all that she still looked like she had the energy for at least one more event.
Overall it was an impressive showing by the Corsairs. With a handful of meets over the next few weeks, SMC is in a good position as they gear up for the Western State Conference trials at the end of April which will be held at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California.
The Corsairs next meet will be held Friday, March 28 at Cuesta College.