Gauchos a solid third at OEC Finals

Photo c/o Fatima El-Haj-Ibrahim
Photo c/o Fatima El-Haj-Ibrahim

The Saddleback women's track & field team had a great finish at the Orange Empire Conference Finals on Friday in Riverside, finishing third in one of the toughest conferences in the state.  The Gauchos had 12 different individuals with points, including two individual conference championships.

Saddleback showed strength at all levels, earning points both on the track and off.  The headliners were thrower Anna Gillis and distance runner Rachel Oberschelp, who won the javelin and 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively.  Gillis hurled the javelin 33.94 meters to win by a comfortable margin while Oberschelp's time the weekend before of 11:44.05 in the steeplechase was nearly five seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

Gillis wasn't through, finishing third in both the hammer and discus while finishing fifth in the shot.   Her toss of 10.92 meters in the shot put was a personal-best.  Joining her with points in the hammer was Samantha Perez with an eighth place finish (38.19).

The Gauchos cleaned up in the pole vault, finishing third, fifth and sixth.  Amanda Amundson had a vault of 2.90 meters to finish third, which was just a hair off her personal-best.   Holly Allen (2.75m) was fifth in the event while Hannah Auld was sixth (2.60m). 

Saddleback's strength all season has been in distance events, and they didn't disappoint.  The Gauchos finished 2-3-4 in the 1,500 meters with Angel Vallier (4:50.99), Caroline Dagarin (4:54.45) and Oberschelp (4:57.87).  Vallier and Dagarin followed it up by finishing 2-3 in the 800 meters.

Charlotte Owen got into the action in distance races, finishing fifth in the 10,000 meters and sixth in the 5,000 meters.  Owen had personal-best times in both events, running the 10,000 meters in 43:10.79 and the 5,000 meters in 19:38.79.

Two more personal-bests fell in the 100-meter hurdles when Tori Powers finished third and Natalie Kron sixth.  Powers ran the race in 15.56 while Kron had a time of 17.66.  The two then teamed to finish fourth and seventh, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles.   

Another earning points in two events was sprinter Fatima El-Haj-Ibrahim, who earned points in both the 400 meters and 100 meters.  El-Haj-Ibrahim was fourth in the 400 meters with a time of 1:04.24 while covering the 100 meters in 13.87. 

Yasmeen Golden was another with a personal-best on Friday, finishing sixth in the high jump.  Golden had a leap of 1.40 meters, better than her previous personal-best at the Arnie Robinson Invitational earlier in the month.

Saddleback will compete again at the Southern California Prelims this weekend at Cerritos College.