Race for the finish
Merritt, Laney represent district at Track and Field championships
The California Community College Northern California Section Track and Field Championships were held May 13 at Chabot College in Hayward.
Merritt College had eight of its athletes representing the school. Laney College had three — freshmen Mariama Hilburn and Bibiana Enriquez and sophomore Alyssa Emerson.
Ali Arsiniega started things off for Merritt by taking fifth place in the 1500-meter run at an official time of 4 minutes, 52.93 seconds.
She was confident about the race the evening before when she took a break from her team bonding over a game of UNO to talk about the race.
Arsiniega was well aware of her competitors. “They are all really talented girls,” she said. Arsiniega said that most of the girls that she was running against are also 5K runners who would have the advantage in endurance.
She felt her advantage in her quest to qualify for the state championships was in her ability to kick.
“It’s all about who can kick the longest at the last lap,” she said.
Arsiniega will be competing Saturday, May 21, at San Diego Mesa College for the state championship along with a few of her teammates.
Thunderbirds sophomore Tyler Daugherty took second place in the men’s 1500-meter run in 3:55.11, narrowly missing first place.
Daugherty finish just nine-hundredths of a second behind American River College’s Conor Wells who ran 13.55.02.
Freshman Asa Allen will be running the 110-meter hurdles for Merritt after qualifying with a fourth-place finish of 14.62.
Ray’Ven Sanders will round out the group of Merritt four after the freshman landed in third place in the women’s high jump with a mark of 1.56 meters.
Merritt track coach Brock Drazen should be happy as he correctly predicted that he would have his hurdlers, 1500-meter runners, and the high-jumping Sanders all qualify for San Diego.
Drazen also thought that his 4x400-meter team would have an outside shot at qualifying but it came short one place and came up just short as it finished fifth.
Before the 4x100 relay team lost their first-leg runner to injury, they were ranked fourth in the state and would have performed well.
Hillburn is the sole qualifier for Laney in the 400-meter dash for Laney after battling for a second-place finish in the event at Chabot. Her time was 57.38.