Gauchos run ninth at SoCal Finals

Gauchos run ninth at SoCal Finals

The Saddleback women's track & field team had its third best finish in program history after finishing ninth at the Southern California Regional Finals on Saturday at Cerritos College.  The Gauchos will send a handful of athletes to the state finals next weekend in Sacramento.

Saddleback had four athletes earn points in the finals, with Anna Gillis, Rachel Oberschelp, Angel Vallier and Amanda Amundson guiding the Gauchos to a 24-point finish. 

Gillis (left) was a workhorse, managing to score points in two separate events with a second place finish in the discus and a fourth place finish in the hammer.  She winged the discus 41.62 meters, coming within 0.04 meters of the lead throw of the day by Cerritos' Ailinisilose Willaims.  It was 0.25 short of her personal-best at the prelims last weekend and sets her up for a potential top-5 finish in Sacramento next weekend.  Gillis also fired out of the gate quickly in the hammer throw with an opening throw of 44.83 meters.  It was her longest throw of the season and was good enough for fourth place in the event.  The throw also moved Gillis into 11th place in the state this season.

Another earning points in two events was Vallier (right), who finished seventh in both the 800-meters and 1,500-meters.  Vallier posted a time of 2:19.87 in the 800-meters, which was her fourth fastest time of the year and 1.72 seconds off of a personal-best.  Her time of 4:49.42 in the 1,500-meters was 4.65 seconds faster than her time in the prelims last weekend after posting a season-best time of 4:43.08 earlier in the year.

Oberschelp (center) was part of an exciting finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with the top four finishers crossing the tape within 1.18 seconds of one another.  She had a time of 11:27.95, which was her top time of the year.  Oberschelp finished fourth in the state at the finals last year and is considered one of the favorites next weekend in Sacramento.

One other Gaucho earning points was Amundson, who finished in eighth place in the pole vault.  Amundson connected on her second try from 3.0 meters for her best vault of the year. 

Saddleback's ninth place finish was fifth time in the past seven seasons that the Gauchos have finished in the top-10 at the Southern California Finals.  The Gauchos will compete for the last time this season at the CCCAA State Finals next Friday and Saturday at American River College in Sacramento.