The Lancers track and field team traveled to Mt. San Antonio College for the South Coast Conference opener on Friday, ending on a high note after beginning on the wrong foot.
The first athlete to kick off the 2016 season for the Lancers was sophomore Ramon Gallo who competed in the javelin throw, his first event of three in the afternoon.
He finished in 10th place out of 16 competitors with a season-best 35.31 meters, which is 9 meters farther than what he was able to accomplish in 2015.
Gallo placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing ahead of teammate Kekoa Smith-Bipialaka.
Freshman Kevin Chu finished tied for last place in pole vault and high jump.
First-year athlete Stewart McKenzie finished in sixth place for the men’s long jump in his collegiate debut. His longest jump of the day was his third attempt, measuring at 6.43 meters.
The Lancers did not get anything going on the track for the short distance runners.
For the men, Pasadena’s 4-by-400 meters squad that was led by sophomores Alex Maldonado and Taajza Singleton finished fifth out of seven schools that participated in the top heat.
“Considering how we have a very young group of runners this year, we did alright,” Singleton said. “There is lots of room for improvement.”
The women’s 4-by-400 meters team comprised of all freshmen and finished in last place, crossing the finish line a minute after the first-place Mt. SAC Mounties.
On the opposite side of the spectrum was Pasadena’s long distance runners and many of them clocked in impressive performances.
After red shirting last season, sophomore Emilio Barragan-Steimer led all Pasadena runners as he completed the 3000-meter run in 9 minutes and 46 seconds which resulted in a 6th place finish.
“We competed in the second heat [of the 3000 meters] instead of the first which disappoints me because I know that we are able to compete with the best of the best,” Celso Sandoval Martinez said.
Three of the four PCC runners broke the 10-minute mark.
“We have a very dedicated team this year, in terms of wanting to improve upon their times and scores,” head coach Bobby Godinez said.
For the women, freshmen Franceska Millanponce and Veronica Mejia set the bar high in their 3000-meter race with 2nd and 3rd place finishes, respectively.
PCC will not hit the track again until Feb. 26 at Cerritos College for a two-day meet.
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