Panther Women Begin Regional Charge with 10k Points

Monica Ruelas picked up a second place finish in the 10,000 meters at the Northern California Championship.
Monica Ruelas picked up a second place finish in the 10,000 meters at the Northern California Championship.

The Hartnell College women were the surprise team champions in 2018 and now start a journey in this year's championship into uncharted territory. The women's team has never won back to back regional titles but with several individuals in potentially high scoring positions in their respective event, the Hartnell women are just one day away from possibly making program history. With a team point already secured by frosh Shaelynne Smith in the heptathlon, sophomore Monica Ruelas and freshman isabelle Torres added an additional 14 points with their second and third place finishes in the 10,000 meters. Ruelas lead nearly the entire race before relinquishing the win to American River College's Haven Lambrite. Ruelas crossed in 40:14.30 followed by Torres in 40:18.97. Torres easily met the state auto mark and will wait to see if she can achieve either the 1500 meter or 5000 meter mark before choosing to contest the 25 lap race at the CCCAA State Championship. Ruelas improved on her eighth place finish from a year ago and continues to improve quickly from a late season injury. 

Freshman Daniela Salazar returned to action after six weeks to post the top mark in the 800 meter trial. She crossed the line first in her heat at 2:21.51 just two seconds off her season best. Nina Arias surprised with her qualifiying time of 2:25.37 taking nearly 4 seconds off her season best. Nerina Campos and Maria Aceves both qualified to the 800 meter final as well. The Panther women will have four of the nine qualifiers in the final. Sophomore Veronica Aguilar added the 400mLH to her resume this season and using her flat 400 speed was able to qualify as the eighth fastest in the trials at 1:10.44. Freshman Shaelynne Smith will look to score points in her second event of the championship as she was able to reach the final with a season best of 16.12 in the 100mH. The 4x400 relay team of Aguilar, Salazar, Campos, and Arias lowered their season best to 4:14.88. Anesa Vanderlipe reached the long jump final with a leap of 4.93m. Freshman Morgan Boesiger will compete in the shot put after tossing 10.26m in the trials.1

Non-qualifying marks included Tyshell Johnson-Hill in the shot put (10.09) and hammer (34.77). Idalys Romero had marks in the shot put (9.97m)  and discus (32.08). Stephanie Politron competed in her first discus trial (29.94m). Anesa Vanderlipe was unable to advance in the triple jump (9.62m). The women's 4x100 meter relay placed twelfth overall in 52.03. Dakota Peebles completed her career in the 400mLH (1:17.77). Veronica Aguilar ran 61.80 in the 400 meter trials. 

The Panther women will attempt to take home a second consecutive top 3 team trophy as the Northern California Championship concludes on Friday, May 10.