The Saddleback men's track & field team had a sensational finish at the Southern California Finals on Saturday at Cerritos College. The Gauchos finished in sixth place on the strength of a solid showing in field events.
Saddleback knew it had the potential for a big day in the throws events and delivered the goods, winning two events and adding a second place finish. The trio of Eric McArthur, Constantine Kamarullah and Luigi Gonzalez earned 26 total team points while sprinter Nick Van Vliet added another six points. In total it gave the Gauchos 34 points and tied them with Cuesta College for sixth place at the Southern California Finals.
McAurhur (left) and Gonzalez (right) finished 1-2 in the hammer throw…an event always well represented by the Gauchos. McArthur won the event on his second throw of the day with a toss of 51.51 meters, which was just 0.38 meters shy of his personal-best at the Orange Empire Conference Finals. Gonzalez also did his damage on his second throw with a hurl of 51.11 meters, which was 0.35 meters of his personal-best at the OEC Finals.
Kamarullah (center) entered the discus throw as one of the favorites and won by the slimmest of margins over one of his biggest rivals in the field. Kamarullah came up big on his fifth throw with a heave of 15.79 meters to defeat Riverside's Kyle Jenkins, who had just thrown a 15.74 meters on his fourth throw of the day. Kamarullah's biggest throw of the year was 15.94 at the Orange Empire Conference Finals, which is the fifth longest throw in the state this season. Jenkins had the longest throw of the year of 16.87 at the Rafer/JK Invitational in April.
Van Vliet entered the 400-meter finals as one of the favorites after posting a season-best 48.20 at the preliminaries last weekend. He finished third in the finals after running a 48.88, which was 0.33 seconds off the lead pace set by Ventura's Tristan Griffith. Van Vliet heads to the state finals with the No. 7 time in the state this year.
The sixth place finish by Saddleback was the eighth straight season that the Gauchos have finished in the top-10 in the southern half of the state.
Saddleback will compete again on Friday and Saturday at the state finals at American River College in Sacramento.