The Saddleback men's track and field team finished in ninth place at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Track & Field Finals in Bakersfield on Saturday. It was the fourth best finish in program history.
Saddleback entered the event knowing it had two of the best hammer throwers in the state. What they didn't know was that they would finish 1-2 at the finals, surging the Gauchos all the way up to a ninth place finish in the team standings.
Eric McArthur and Christian Ydens have been battling amongst themselves for most of the year, pushing one another to try and have a great finish at the state finals. It all came to fruition on Saturday when no other hammer thrower in the state could catch them.
McArthur won the event on his first throw of the day, breaking out of the gate with a toss of 54.54 meters. It was the fourth best throw of McArthur's career at Saddleback, who's throw of 55.12 meters at the Prairie War Invitational earlier in the season ranks seventh all-time in Saddleback history.
Ydens has been making huge strides in recent events and won the Southern California championship two weeks ago in San Diego with a throw of 54.69 meters. He came into his fifth throw on Saturday in eighth place with only two throws remaining. Ydens then ripped off a throw of 52.30 meters to move into second place, giving Saddleback a 1-2 finish and 38 points in the team competition. He ranks ninth all-time in Saddleback history in the hammer.
The ninth place finish was the fourth best finish in program history behind 2005 (7th), 2004 (8th) and 2011 (8th).