In what seemed like a formality for most of the season, finally became a reality on Saturday when Remy Conatser won the state title the hammer throw at the state track & field championships at Cerritos College. Conatser battled though a nagging injury in besting the competition for a comfortable win.
Conatser’s toss of 59.71 meters was just over 11-feet farther than his nearest competitor on a day when he was limping in and out of the circle, hampered by a leg injury. His throw on Saturday was still 6.5 feet father than any competitor in the state for the entire season.
Conatser also finished in 9th place in the discus at the state meet and in 12th in the javelin.
Conatser’s win earned the Gauchos 10 points and a 22nd place finish at the state meet.
The Saddleback men’s track & field team finished in 10th place at the Southern California Track & Field Finals at San Diego Mesa College over the weekend. Remy Conatser was a two-time winner, capturing individual honors in both the hammer throw and the discus.
Conatser scored 22 of the team’s 24 total points, as he also finished in seventh place in the javelin. Conatser’s toss of 61.59 meters easily was the best throw of the day in the hammer, beating his closest opponent by 8.22 meters, or 27-feet. His throw of 48.85 meters in the discus was 7-feet, 10-inches further than his nearest competitor. It was a personal-best throw for Conatser and the seventh longest throw in the state this season.
Conatser heads to the state meet this weekend as the heavy favorite to capture the state title in the hammer throw. His toss of 202-feet this past weekend was 15’-5” off of his personal best, but still close to 13-feet further than any other competitor in the state this year.
Other athletes that earned points for the Gauchos over the weekend were Vince Fusco and Dylan Gourd. Fusco finished in 8th place in the 400-meter hurdles while Gourd finished in 8th plce in the hammer throw.
Remy Conatser further cemented his name in history last weekend at the Tiny Lister Classic at California State University at Los Angeles when he reset his own national record with a throw of 66.26 meters (217’-4”). His throw was nearly two feet farther than his previous record set in early March.
Conatser set the national American JC record on March 9 at the Ben Brown Invitational when he threw the hammer 65.76 meters (215’-8”) and eclipsing the record of 212’-1” set by Dave Loshonkohl (San Diego Mesa College) at the Mt. San Antonio College Meet back in 1993.
Conatser’s throw last month also made him an Olympic “B” qualifier, surpassing the standard of 64 meters needed for initial qualifying status. If he should decide to compete in the Olympic Trials, he would need to have one of the top-24 qualifying throws during the season leading up to the Olympic Trials (2012). His latest toss of 66.26 meters is currently No. 16 in the nation among all hammer throwers and No. 8 among all college competitors. His new record at Cal State LA would have placed him at No. 32 overall in 2011, No. 33 in 2010 and No. 28 in 2009.
In addition to all the records and Olympic talk, Conatser also recently signed a letter of intent to continue his collegiate career at USC (pictured right).
Hours after being named the California community college athlete of the month for the month of February, sophomore Remy Conatser went out and proved himself worthy of the honor on Friday at Cal State Fullerton. Conatser’s toss of 215’-8” in the hammer throw at the Ben Brown Invitation on Friday was the longest throw by an American junior college/community college athlete in the history of the sport, breaking the old record by over 3.5 feet.
The new record by Conatser breaks the record of 212’-1” set by Dave Loshonkohl (San Diego Mesa College) at the Mt. San Antonio College Meet back in 1993. Conatser had previously thrown 208’ on February 24 at the Riverside City College Meet, and coaches had noticed him repeatedly breaking the record during various practices throughout the week, anticipating that the record would eventually fall.
“Remy is a special kind of kid that doesn’t come around every day,” head coach Mark Blethen said. “We kind of saw this coming, but what makes it even more special is the kind of character he has. Remy is a great kid that leads by example.”
Conatser ended up winning the event at Cal State Fullerton in a field that featured athletes from all levels, including NCAA D1, community college and club competitors. His closest competitor was Colin Dunbar, an unattached competitor that listed himself as a senior in college. The next best throw by an affiliated collegiate competitor was 175’-1.5” by Josh Villalobos from Long Beach State University.
Making the story more compelling is the fact that Conatser had never thrown a hammer before arriving at Saddleback last year. The former volleyball and water polo player from Capistrano Valley High School showed up on campus to try out for the track & field team, when the coaches noticed that he may have a build or body type for the hammer.
“I took two steps on to the track and coach McGinley told me I was going to throw the hammer,” Conatser said. “I had played volleyball and water polo in high school, so I thought as long as I was here going to school, I might as well try a sport. I wanted to do sprints, high jump or the long jump. I felt like it was in my realm.”
Conatser was eventually pushed towards the hammer by throws coach Shawn McGinley and head coach Mark Blethen. McGinley says the sky is the limit for the new record-holder.
“He is a very gifted athlete, almost freakish,” McGinley said. “He has worked himself into some unique opportunities. I think he could be an Olympic hopeful some day.”
In addition to the Olympics, Conatser is close to signing a national letter of intent to compete at USC with a pretty healthy scholarship attached to it. He has had other programs such as Oklahoma, LSU and Texas State looking to persuade him to be a part of their program, but chose to stay locally with the Trojans.
Conatser’s throw of 65.76 meters also makes him an Olympic “B” qualifier, surpassing the standard of 64 meters needed for initial qualifying status. If he should decide to compete in the Olympic Trials, he would need to have one of the top-24 qualifying throws during the season leading up to the Olympic Trials (2012). Although the US Track & Field web site for 2012 has not published high marks for this season, his toss on Friday would have placed him at No. 33 in 2011 and No. 34 in 2010.
In addition to his tremendous toss in the hammer, Conatser recorded a personal-best of 155’-9.25” in the discus on Friday, finishing seventh in the field and second amongst community college athletes. It was the ninth longest discus throw in the state this year among California community college athletes.
Men’s track & field star Remy Conatser has been setting program records and mowing down the competition all season long and was rewarded on Friday with the state athlete-of-the-month award, handed down by the CCCAA and CCCSIA. Conatser set the program record in the hammer throw in February and has the longest throw by any hammer thrower in the nation, including NCAA programs.
Conatser broke the program record on February 24 at the Riverside City College Meet when he tossed the hammer 208’, shattering the old record he held from last year with a throw of 189’ 10”. The next closest competitor in program history was AB Shaheen, who had a throw of 180’ 2” back in 2010.
Conatser’s 208-foot toss is 37-feet farther than any other hammer thrower in the state this season. It is also the longest throw of any hammer thrower in the nation at any level this year, as the next closest throw of the season was by UC Riverside hammer thrower Caleb Stuart, who had a throw of 203’ 9”. It is also within 10-feet of a national junior college/community college record.
Conatser also has the fifth best mark this season in the state in the discus and the top mark in Southern California, as he had a throw of 155’ 8” on March 2. The throw made him the No. 8 all time performer in the discus in program history.
The award was handed down by the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA) and the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) on Friday morning.
Conatser has been getting courted by a number of major D1 college programs in recent weeks, and is expected to sign a national letter of intent to one of those programs in the coming weeks. Keep it tuned to the Saddleback athletics site for any related news in the coming weeks ahead.
In addition to Conatser, softball pitcher Danielle Santos was named honorable mention on the women’s side after going 7-1 for the month with a 1.71 ERA.
The Saddleback men’s track & field team had a nice showing at Antelope Valley College in Friday, winning six events and finishing in second place out of five teams. Vince Fusco and Remy Conatser were both two-time winners as the Gauchos edged Bakersfield College for second place.
Fusco pulled off the double-double in the hurdles winning the 110-meter hurdles in 15.32 while capturing the title in the 400-meter hurdles in 56.63. His score in the 110 race was still ½ second off his personal best set in 2011, but still fast enough to cruise to the win against the field on Saturday. Fusco finished 0.48 ahead of his closest competitor in the 400 meters.
Conatser was his normal self, winning in both the discus and hammer for Saddleback. He threw the discus 155’ 8”, beating his closet competitor by over 31 feet in becoming the eighth best performer in program history. His toss of 177’ 9” in the hammer was quite a ways off his personal best, but good enough for a 45-foot advantage on the second place thrower on Saturday as the Gauchos finished in first, third and fourth in the event.
Other winners on the day included Logan Minnick in the 400-meters (50.52) and Brian Gomez in the 3,000-meters (9:08.08). The run by Gomez was good enough to make him the No. 8 performer of all time in program history.
Second place finishers on the day included Timmy Smith in the 100-meters (11.13) and the men’s 4 x 400 relay team (3:21.61).
Saddleback will compete again at Cal State Fullerton on Friday and Saturday. The hammer throw will take place at 10:00 AM on Friday while the rest of the events will start on Saturday at 9:00 AM.
San Bernadino Valley, 68
Antelope Valley, 35
Saddleback track & field sophomore Remy Conatser (pictured left) entered the season as one of the top hammer throwers in the state, if not the nation. Conatser delivered in the first meet of the year last Friday, setting the school record by nearly seven feet in one of his three wins on the day at Orange Coast College.
Conatser’s throw of 196’5” broke a record he set last season when he had a throw of 189’10” during the course of the season. He also had a throw on Friday that was much farther that could have broken a national record, but was called for a foul, thus eliminating the throw.
Conatser won three events on the day, also capturing the javelin throw and discus events. His throw of 153’5” in the discus made him the ninth best performer in program history in the event while his 164’11” toss in the javelin was 24-feet further than his closest competitor on the day.
As a team Saddleback finished the day 1-1 against Orange Coast College and Santiago Canyon College, losing by a narrow one-point margin to the Pirates (77-76) while cruising to a comfortable 139-14 win over the Hawks.
Other winners on the day included Devon Blackledge in the 100-meters (11.68), Logan Minnick in the 200-meters (23.55), Zach Bennett-Goren in the 800-meters (2:02.94), Vince Fusco in both the 110-meter hurdles (15.85) and 400-meter hurdles (55.80), Oscar Munson in the high jump (6’2.75”), Trent Turner in the pole vault (13’5.75”) and both the 4 x 100 relay team (43.97) and 4 x 400 relay team (3:24.48).
Saddleback track & field will compete again this Saturday at Cerritos College.
The men’s track & field team had a sensational 2011 campaign, finishing fifth in Southern California and eighth in the state. The transfer rate has been equally impressive, as 89% of the eligible sophomores have received a scholarship, according to the coach’s office.
The Saddleback track & field record book is littered with names from the sophomores on the 2011 team, and now they will be taking their act to the four-year level. Eight of the nine members earned scholarships, with one more likely to drop after the fall semester.
Sprinter Tanner Terry set program records in both the 100-meters and 200-meters, and was part of the record-setting 4 x 400 relay team. Terry will continue his career at Cal Poly Pomona, earning a scholarship with the Broncos. Cal Poly Pomona is located in Pomona, California, and competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Kansas State will be home to Cameron Savage, who set the program record in the pole vault this past season. Savage will head to K-State, located in Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats compete in the Big 12 conference.
Andrew Kokinakes will take his act to Chico State after finishing with the third best time ever in the 400-meter hurdles and being a part of the record-setting 4 x 400 relay team. Chico State is located in Chico, California, and competes in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
Thrower Derek Vermillion had a solid two-year career, becoming the third best performer in Gaucho history in the hammer throw in 2011 after being the eighth best performer as a freshman in 2010. Vermillion will stay local at Cal State Fullerton, who competes in the Big West Conference.
Throwing partner Dillon Bales finished his Gaucho career with top-10 performances in both the hammer (5th & 6th) and discus (9th), and will continue his career at South Dakota State University. SDSU is located in Brookings, South Dakota, and the Jackrabbits compete in the Summit League.
Jeremy Johnson finished as the No. 9 best performer of all time in the decathlon, and will compete at the University of Saint Mary, in Leavenworth, Kansas. The Spires recently added track & field for the 2012 season, and compete in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, under the umbrella of the NAIA.
Edgar Vasquez had a solid two-year career for the Gauchos, finishing as the No. 5 performer of all time in the 400-meters in 2011. Vasquez will head to the Concordia University, joining the Cavaliers’ program. Concordia is located in Portland, Oregon, and competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference, an NAIA affiliated conference.
Joining Vasquez at Concordia is Max Waters, who competed in both track & field and football for the Gauchos. Waters competed in the throws events for the Gaucho program.