The Hartnell College track & field team added the Sequoias Relays in Visalia hoping for some exposure to valley competition and better weather than what was experienced in the first third of the season. Luckily, they received both as they faced teams from Modesto Junior College, Fresno City College, host College of the Sequoias, and Merced College for the first time this season. In addition, with little wind and a temperature consistently above 55 degrees all day, the Panther enjoyed the team victory for the ladies and a solid third place for the men behind regional powers College of the Sequoias and Modesto Junior College.
On the men's side, frosh Rex Tomimbang, Jr. enjoyed his best sprint hurdles race lowering his season best to 15.20. Jumper Jack Fling cleared 6'2" for a lifetime best as well as leaped 12.73 meters in the triple jump for a season best. Freshman Brendan Lepe doubled 52.56 and 57.24 in the 400/400h double. Isaiah Givens stood out in the 100 meters with a lifetime best 11.25. Sophomore distance runner Jonathan Saldana enjoyed his best day as a Panther with three lifetime best in just over 5 hours of competition. He placed second in the 1500 meters in 4:08.19 pulling teammates Nick Merillana (4:10.12), Williams Ordaz (4:10.44) and Adam Alnazer (4:10.81) to season bests. He also placed second in his heat in the 800 meters (2:01.97) and second in the 5000 meters (15:43.91). Teammate Ricky Esqueda set the meet record in the 5000 meters in 15:41.51. Manuel Gallardo eclipsed the 40 foot barrier for the first time in the shot put with the 16 lb college version with Wyatt Conner improving in the hammer throw to 37.53 meters.
The Lady Panthers were lead by several sophomore performances mainly those contributed by Haley Romero and Jocelyn Cervantes. Romero started the meet with a season best in the javelin throw before moving on to a long jump victory in 5.26 meters. She later produced her season best the 100 hurdles (16.04) to narrowly miss the victory, and capped the day with a State "B" mark in her first triple jump competition. Her winning jump of 10.69 won by nearly a half meter and bested the top triple jumper in the region Lauren Cariaso of Modesto Junior College. Fellow sophomore Jocelyn Cervantes bested last year's Norcal third place 1500m finisher Elizabeth Sartuce of Sequoias with a lifetime best 5:04.20. Cervantes nearly bested her lifetime best in the 800 meters (2:32.54) before establishing a new Sequoias Relays meet record in the 5000 meters (19:18.47). Cervantes now ranks third in the region in the 5000m and fourth in the 1500 meters despite not running track in high school. Olivia Jimenez dipped under the regional qualifying time with a season best in the 800 meters (2:30.25) as did Nina Arias in the 1500 meters (5:18.82). Leslie Oseguera moved up in the regional ranking in the 5000 meters with a significant 23 second personal best at 19:28.02. The women's 4x400 of Sherise Robinson, Gerilynn Omictin, Veronica Aguilar, and Olivia Jimenez were victorious in 4:16.35. Frosh Idalys Romero lead the throwers with two fifth place finishes in the shot put and javelin.
The Panthers will compete at the end of the Spring Break at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, a two day competition held at Chabot College on March 30-31.