Gauchos third at OEC Finals

Gauchos third at OEC Finals

The Saddleback men's track & field team finished in third place at the Orange Empire Conference Finals on Friday in Riverside.  The Gauchos had one individual conference champion and 13 qualifying scores for the regional finals.

Saddleback had a great start the weekend before when Eric McArthur (pictured left), Christian Ydens and Matt James finished 1-2-6 in the hammer to get the team off to a good start.  The throwers all kept the momentum rolling along into this past weekend as Ydens (pictured center), James and Alex Schecter all qualified for the Southern California Regional Finals in the discus.  Ydens was third at the OEC Finals when he had a personal-best toss of 41.39 meters, which was the 28th best throw in the state this season.  James qualified with a throw of 37.22 and a fifth place finish while Schecter was sixth with a throw of 36.53.

Nathaniel Bustamante may have had the best weekend of anyone, qualifying in three separate events.  Bustamante started by finishing third in the pole vault with a vault of 4.10 meters.  He then finished sixth in the javelin with a throw of 41.43 meters and was fifth in the decathlon with 4402 total points.

Tommy McWilliams (pictured right) had a solid weekend by finishing second in the high jump.  McWilliams was successful at 1.90 meters and had the 19th best leap of the year at the Prairie War Invitational earlier in the season (1.93). 

Another with a great finish was Aruba Tucker, who became the sole sprinter for the Gauchos to qualify by finishing second in the 110-meter hurdles.  Tucker crossed the tape in 15.38 to qualify for the SoCal Prelims this weekend.

Others to qualify for this weekend were Nicholas Dorsett and Zachary Coon.  Dorsett finished in fourth place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:11.83) while Coon was fifth in the pole vault (3.95).

Saddleback will be back in action this weekend at San Diego Mesa College in the Southern California Prelims.


1. Riverside 522
2. Orange Coast 82
3. Saddleback 77
4. Santa Ana 46
5. Fullerton 36
6. Golden West 29