Individual Athletes Qualify for So Cal finals
With weather conditions just right for competition, Santa Monica College's track and field team took part in the Southern California Preliminaries held at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
The Preliminaries featured junior college athletes from all over Southern California who were eligible to participate.
SMC headed into the competition with several athletes contending to advance to the So Cal Finals taking place this Saturday at Saddleback College.
In order to advance to the finals one must place eighth or better to be eligible.
"It is quite tough to get to the State Championship as one needs to finish in the top four or five to qualify," said Head Coach Eric Barron, "but if our athletes have a good day, we have a reasonable chance in each event in which we are entered."
On the men's side, Mo Elmi advanced to the So Cal Finals in the 1500-meter race with a time of 4:03.15 and overall place of sixth. Elmi, who also competed for the cross country team and advanced to State Championship last year, looks to move ahead this year for the Corsairs.
Dorian McClain also advanced to the finals in the high jump event with a jump of 6'2". McClain tied for second in the event along with 11 other participants.
In the 200-meter, Marcel Biggers strained his hamstring.
For the women, the team in the 4 x 100-meter and 4 x 400-meter relays advanced for SMC.
In the 4 x 100-meter relay the team of Zora Golcevska, Sandra Hendricks, Lisha Burch, and Frances Jones came in sixth place with a time of 50.50.
Burch, who ran the third leg, came through big in the relay as her efforts helped the team advance. During the relay when she was about to receive the baton two Mt. San Antonio College athletes got tangled up and ended up in her lane.
"Although Mt. SAC was disqualified, if Lisha had not had the presence of mind to get around them and not let that bother her, we would have not made it to the finals," said Barron.
In the 4 x 400-meter relay SMC posted a time of 4:07.78 good for seventh place.
A key performance came from Hendricks, who ran her best leg of the season. In the long jump event, Golcevska qualified with a jump of 16'8.25" with an 11th place finish (the best 12 advanced in the event).
She missed qualifying in the 100-meter hurdles by one place.