OCC track and field members advance to state championship meet

OCC sophomore Paul Dominique leaping in the triple jump in the SoCal Championship at Moorpark College on May 13.  


Orange Coast College’s track and field competed at Moorpark College in the SoCal Championship meet on Friday and members of both the men’s and women’s teams are moving on to the state championship meet taking place at Mt. San Antonio College on May 20.

“It was a great year,” OCC head coach Jennifer Williams said. “Coming off of [COVID-19], we did not get to go anywhere past conference last year, so it was great to see them perform at [the SoCal Championship] and we had quite a few going to state meet.”

Eleven Pirates made it to the state meet, including seven freshmen.

“I’m so proud of them,” Williams said. “Overall, just phenomenal work, this is the most we’ve taken to SoCal, Prelims and Finals since I’ve been there.”

During the Prelims on May 6, freshman Adrian Moreno advanced to the state championship meet after placing fifth in shot put with his farthest throw of 14.49 meters.

In the SoCal championship on May 13, sophomore Nicolette Gruber advanced to the state meet after placing second in high jump with her highest leap of 1.6 meters. She was .05 meters away from Mt. San Antonio College’s Aaliyah Mendoza with 1.65 meters.

“Nicolette is ranked second in the state for the high jump,” Williams said. “That is going to be fun to watch.”

After finishing sixth in the women’s 5000 meter run with a time of 19:15.77, freshman McKay Arvidson advanced to state. 

“McKay is coming off her [foot] injury,” Williams said. “I am really looking forward to her moving up on her time. I think she can be one of the top of the state without a doubt.” 

After placing second place in the 400 meter run in 48.3 seconds, freshman Ryan Rivituso is also on his way to the state meet.

Freshman Joshua Mejorada made it to the state meet after placing second in javelin. Out of six tries, his furthest throw was 56.4 meters. He was over four meters behind San Diego Mesa College’s Kyle Wood. 

Sophomore Kailey Frye heads to the state championship next week in two different events after going sixth place in pole vault with 3.15 meters and fourth place in the triple jump with 11.13 meters. 

Also qualifying for state in triple jump, sophomore Paul Domingue placed third with 14.61 meters. 

OCC’s men’s 4x400 relay team is also heading to state next Friday after finishing in third place with a time of 3:16.30. The all-freshman squad includes Nicolas FelixFelix FontaeusMax Knudson and Rivituso.

Finally, sophomore Tyler Young finished second place in the decathlon with 5,967 points, giving him a spot at state. 

“[Young] is such a great athlete in general and he loves to help out,” Williams said. “He is nonstop helping out anybody on the team.”

Young in decathlon and Mejorada in javelin will compete in the CCCAA State Championship event at Mt. San Antonio College on Friday at 10 a.m. The remaining Pirates will compete on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“We have some athletes that really have a shot,” Williams said. “I am excited to watch everyone compete.”

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