The Saddleback track & field teams had some fine performances at the state meet this past weekend at College of San Mateo. Three individuals finished in the top-5 in their respective events as Ray Lian led the Gauchos with a second place finish in the javelin.
Lian (pictured) had his best throw of the season when he tossed the javelin 205-feet, nine inches in finishing second to Bakersfield’s Cooper Thompson. His season-best throw was nearly 22-feet farther than the third place finisher, Adam Ramoz, from San Jose City College.
Bobby Stangl also had an outstanding weekend when he finished third in the 1500-meter run with a time of 3:59.25. Stangl finished less than three seconds off the pace set by winner Carlos Perez of San Bernadino Valley College.
Kelley Breen turned in the best performance of the weekend for the women’s team when she finished fifth in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:45.56. Breen finished comfortably ahead of the sixth place finisher and was just 26 seconds out of second place as Orange Coast athlete Cassie Mitchell ran away with the race.
The men’s team finished 22nd overall in the team competition while the women’s team finished 31st in the state.
The Saddleback track & field teams competed this past week at the Orange Empire Conference championships at Orange Coast College. The men’s team had some outstanding individual performances in finishing in third place while the women’s team ended up in seventh place on the strength of four, top-10 performances.
Saddleback made a statement in the distance races on the men’s side as Matt Van Dyke (pictured left) and Bobby Stangl (pictured right) both won events for the Gauchos. Stangl completed the 1500-meter race in a time of 4:04.96 to take home first place while Van Dyke captured the 5000-meters with a time of 15:36.06. Saddleback altogether dominated the 5000-meters, as Stangl finished second in the event while A.J. Kimura finished seventh.
It was the seventh time in eight years that the Saddleback men’s team has finished in third place in the Orange Empire Conference. Riverside Community College captured the conference title with Orange Coast College in second place.
The Saddleback women had some fine performance of their own as four Gauchos finished with top-10 performances. Christina Cain ran the 800-meters in 2:27.34 to finish sixth in the conference finals. Kelley Breen finished sixth in the 5000-meters with a time of 18:38.16. Sue Rodriguez was eighth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 18.24 and seventh in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:09.72.
The Saddleback men's and women's track and field teams claimed victories in several events at the Orange Empire Conference championships on Saturday and will send eight athletes on to compete at the Southern California regional prelims next weekend.
Ray Lian (pictured) won the men's javelin with a toss of 194' 2" on his last throw of the day and Matt Van Dyke added a conference title in the 10,000-meters with a time of 33:02. He finished fourth in this event last year and improved his time by over 50 seconds this season.
In women's track and field, Kelley Breen won a conference title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event with a time of 11:36.
In addition to these three conference champions, Saddleback will also send Matt Garcia (high jump), Rick Fenton (shot put), Colin McRoberts (steeplechase) and AJ Kimura (10,000 meters) to the regional meet along with Katie Rauschl (women's javelin).
Sophomore distance runner Matt Van Dyke (pictured) set a new Saddleback school record in the 3,000-meters on Friday, posting a time of 8:52.34 in winning the event. Van Dyke's time beat the previous record established by Kyle Hughes in 2006.
The Gauchos also swept the top two spots in the men's pole vault and men's discus as Griffin Simmons won the pole vault after clearing 15' 6" and Nick Jennings finished second (15' 0"). Ray Lian won the discus with a throw of 149' 10" and Rick Fenton placed second (134' 10"). Lian also won the javelin with a toss of 177' 9".
Despite these top performances, Saddleback fell to both Orange Coast and Riverside during the afternoon conference meet.
While other Saddleback students were enjoying their spring break, the men's and women's track teams hosted its second track meet of the week and were successful in defeating Santa Ana College on Friday afternoon.
The men's team posted a 98-48 victory over the Dons and the women's team posted a 62-50 victory over its Santa Ana counterparts.
For the men, Bobby Stangl (pictured) won both the 800-meters (2:00.35) and the 1,500-meters (4:07.65) while Dru Peebles won the 110-meter high hurdles (16.09), the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:01.67), and the long jump (5.83 meters). Ray Lian captured the discus (44.23 meters) and the javelin (58.83 meters) while Matt Van Dyke (8:55.74) missed a school record in the 3,000-meters by about two-thirds of one second.
In the women's competition, Katie Rauschl was a six-event winner posting victories in the 100-meters (14.40), the 200-meters (30.68), the 100-meter hurdles (18.35), the high jump (1.17 meters), long jump (4.10 meters), and javelin throw (25.60 meters).
Christina Cain won the 400-meters (1:14.31), Kelley Breen won the 3,000-meters (10:58.35), and Rachel Tears won the pole vault (10' 0").
Saddleback's home track meet against Fullerton came down to the final race - the men's 4x400 relay - to determine a winner and, despite leading the race for 1,400 meters, it was Fullerton cutting the tape and earning the conference win in the St. Patrick's Day meet.
It was a team effort which put Saddleback in contention to begin with as Nick Provencio won the 400-meter dash (51.31), Mike Wessendorf led a Saddleback sweep in the 800-meters (2:00.87), Bobby Stangl captured the 1,500-meter run (4:08.16), and Matt Van Dyke captured the 3,000-meters (9:16.08). Dru Peebles (pictured) was able to win the 110-meter hurdles (16.40) and placed second in the 400-meter hurdles (1:02.47) and Ray Lian won both the javelin (184' 3") and the discus (140' 6") while Rick Fenton won the shot put and Griffin Simmons won the pole vault (15' 6"). But Fullerton's anchor runner in the 4x400 relay was able to catch Saddleback on the final turn and hold on down the stretch to edge the Gauchos by three seconds and earn Fullerton an 81-72 victory.
The women's meet was not as close with Fullerton's depth proving to be the difference in a 93-47 Hornet win. However, Saddleback dominated the distance events as Christina Cain captured the 800-meters (2:35.13) and Kelley Breen led a Saddleback sweep in both the 1,500-meters (4:59.04) and the 3,000-meters (11:20.43). Katie Rauschl won both the shot put (8.8 meters) and javelin (103' 5") and Rachel Tears captured the pole vault after clearing 10' 9".
The Gauchos will host Santa Ana College on Friday, March 20.
Because Saddleback's newly installed track was not yet ready for use, Friday's track meet was moved to Cerritos College where the Gauchos and Falcons were joined by El Camino and Palomar colleges in a four-team meet. Saddleback coaches were pleased with the team's performance, including a pair of victories for Ray Lian in both the javelin and discus. His 180' 7" mark in the javelin matched his personal best and he also recorded a toss of 147' 2" in the discus. A.B. Shaheen had a throw of 115' 1" in the hammer, the fifth-best mark in school history. And Matt Van Dyke finished second in the 1500-meter run (4:06.82) then came back to place second again in the 3,000-meter (9:15.46) to establish a new personal best in that event. It was the eighth best time in school history.
In women's competition, freshman Kelley Breen completed the 1,500-meter race in 4:58.46 to place second overall. It was the sixth fastest time in school history. She also posted the third best time in school history in the 3,000-meters as she placed second overall (10:49.06). Sophomore Sue Rodriguez placed fourth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.29), posting the seventh fastest time in school history.