The OEC track and field preliminaries took place last Friday with most of the events serving as a qualifier for next week's finals. However, some of the events went straight to a final and the Hornets came up strong with three men already moving on to the Southern California Regional Prelims.
Mauro Rosales started off the running events with a bang, winning the conference title in a strategic 10:15. Rosales was content to sit in a slow-paced pack for most of the race and then moved away with 800m to go, winning easily.
In the 10,000m (25 laps!) final, a pedestrian pace was also utilized, with no one wanting to make a move early in the race. After a comically slow first half of the race (18:45 5k), the pack dropped the pace from 6:00 miles to under 5:20. Three runners broke away from the main group: Austin Dai (Riverside), Giovanni Barajas (Santa Ana) and Fullerton's Ian Rusk. The race came down to a furiously paced final lap with Dai of Riverside out leaning Rusk by only .24 seconds (35:29.80 to 35:30.04) Both men ran the final 400m in 59 seconds.
In the throwing events, Luis Marquez placed 7th in the Javelin (136'2") and 6th in the Shot Put (43'4"). Marquez moves on to the Regional meet in the Shot Put.
Up Next: The Orange Empire Conference finals will take place this Friday, April 26th at Santa Ana College.
*Photos by Cammie Lewis