The Hartnell College track and field team ventured outside its competitive comfort zone in attending the Chico State Wildcat Invitational, a predominantly four year university competition. The Panthers were able to produce several top marks in Northern California in their trip to the North State. The meet was attended by not only the Panthers but four year program such as Southern Oregon University, Sonoma State, Humboldt State, CSU Monterey Bay, and Oregon Tech.
For the men, frosh Luis Perez surprised in the 5000 meters lowering his season best by 26 seconds to 15:38.61 to move to second overall in the region. He was followed by Williams Ordaz in a season best 15:42.54 and Nick Merillana at 15:48.63 giving the Panthers a total of five runners qualified to the Norcal 5000 meter final. Freshman Brendan Lepe lowered his 400 intermediate hurdle mark to 57.58 which remains the conference leader. Sophomore Adam Alnazer put together a pair of season bests in the 1500 meters (4:13.89) and 800 meters (2:02.75). Freshman Brian Jimenez moved up in the conference with his season best high jump 1.76m. Fernando Garcia placed fourth in a competitive long jump with a 6.69m jump and frosh Jordan Finister improved on his triple jump mark to 12.56m.
Freshman Lauryn Orozco and sophomore Jocelyn Cervantes gave fall's Norcal cross country runner-up Talia Swangler of Butte College all she can handle. The pair held an advantage over Swangler for over 8 laps before Swangler was able to pull even. Frosh Orozco continued to battle the veteran until the final 400 meter revolution with Swangler taking the Norcal lead with a mark of 19:01.92 to Orozco's 19:06.56. Cervantes rallied over the last lap and nearly caught her teammate in recording the third best mark this spring in Northern California with her 19:07.34. Orozco is now twelfth all-time in Hartnell history and trying to become one of just ten women who have run the 12.5 lap distance in under 19 minutes. Cervantes lowered her personal best by 10 seconds and is now fourteenth. Frosh Maria Aceves lowered her season best by 40 seconds to 19:38.41. In other events, Sherise Robinson was the overall winner in the 400 meters in 1:00.92 and remains the Norcal leader as she enters mid-March. Robinson also placed fourth in the 200 meters in a season best 26.15 and hit a season best in the long jump at 5.05 meters. The women's 4x100 meter relay team of Robinson, Dakota Peebles, Haley Romero, and Gerilynn Omictin placed third in 50.78. Frosh Idalys Romero nearly eclipsed the 10 meter mark in the shot put for the first time this season with a put of 9.97m.