Avalos Win Norcal 10k Title to Kick Off Championship

Hartnell runner stands atop of the podium stand
Freshman Jesus Avalos wins the 10,000 meter championship at Modesto JC

The 2019 Northern California Champoinship kicked off at Modesto Junior College last Saturday. The second scored event of the meet, the 10,000 meter run, was contested at the conclusion of the running and field event trials. Freshman Jesus Avalos patiently paced himself within a pack of seven runners that also included teammates Nicholas Merillana and Alfredo Mejia, Jr. Over the course of the final eight of twenty five laps, the race came down to just two runners vying for the title Hartnell College's Avalos and the Coast Conference 5,000 meter champion Oscar Perez. Avalos timed his final push just right distancing himself from the fellow freshman over the final lap to cross first with a lifetime best 32:36.53. Perez followed in 32:40.75. With only runners from Northern California having the State "B" mark for the CCCAA State Championship, Avalos is the only sure qualifier being the regional champion. Avalos becomes the third consecutive 10,000 meter champion for the Panthers following Jorge Sanchez (2017) and Ricky  Esqueda (2018). The win secured ten first place points for Hartnell College heading into the final day of competition on May 10. Sophomore Nicholas Merillana scored in his second consecutive regional 10k final with his fifth place finish (33:04.48). Alfredo Mejia, Jr. finished tenth in 34:36.44. 

In the trials, freshman De'Antae Williams scorched his 100 meter trial in 10.64 just missing the state auto mark of 10.63. Fellow freshman Shraee Harrison had a banner day running a lifetime best 100 meters (10.86) in the trials, qualifying in the 200 meters (21.76), long jump (7.08m), and high jump (1.80m) while helping both the 4x100 meter relay (41.66) and 4x400 relay (3:22.77) reach the final. Sophomore Jack Fling qualified to his second pole vault final with one jump at 4.30m. Fling will look to improve on last year's eighth place finish. Julian Resendiz qualified in the pole vault as well clearing 4.15m. Sophomore Wyatt Conner reached his second shot put final and his first hammer throw final. Conner tossed the shot put 12.98m to take eleventh in the trials. He had a mark of 45.58m in the hammer trial for the seventh best mark. Sophomore Brendan Lepe will compete in his first 400mH final after posting the seventh best mark in the trials (57.42). He will take a season best 56.10 into the final. 

Non-qualifying performances included Tim Hunter in the 100 meters in a season best 10.94. Isaiah Guerra had a long jump of 6.55m with Jakob Streeeter 6.51m but were short of the 6.67m qualifying mark. Wyatt Conner had a no mark in the discus and Conlyn Pattison no heighted in the high jump. 

The Hartnell College men will take a team score of 14 points into the championship final at Modesto Juniior College on Friday, May 10.