Track teams continue to dominate competition, rack up more first place finishes in invitational
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After seven hours of competition, the De Anza College men’s and women’s track and field teams finished the De Anza Invitational with first place finishes on Saturday, March 9 at De Anza College.
One of the athletes that caught everyone’s attention was sophomore and captain of the women’s distance team Alyssa Renteria, 20, psychology major,. She placed first in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12 minutes and six seconds and took first place in the 5000-meter with a time of 20 minutes and 26 seconds.
This was Renteria’s second steeple chase of the season. Renteria said that she will always have issues with the steeplechase because it’s one of her most difficult events.
“I didn’t really face any difficulties when it came to the 5000-meter, but the steeplechase is always the hardest because I hate the moment when we have to jump in the water,” Renteria said. “I try to rush through it as fast as I can.”
Renteria said she felt confident in herself when she got the victory for the 3000-steeplechase and 5000-meter.
“I feel great about my victory because now I got the state A mark, which is really awesome because I didn’t get it last year until I was actually at state, so it feels really good to be at where I ended last year”, Renteria said.
Renteria said she stayed motivated and gave it her all because of the support she had from her teammates and her family, who always try to push her.
“My dad used to be a runner so he’s really proud of me, my coach always motivated to do my best as well as my teammates,” Renteria said.
Renteria said she believes that the men’s and women’s track and field teams did really well at the Invitational because they gave it their all and came out with a few first place finishes.
Ralph Balaoing, 20, political science major, also had a great win at the men 3000-meter steeplechase. Balaoing said he was really happy about his victory in the 3000-steeplechase because the first time in the season he struggled in it, but overcame the difficulties at the invitational and won first place.
“I wasn’t expecting my victory at all because this was my second time doing it and the first time I really struggled to actually finish the race because I was overthinking the thought of the race,” Balaoing said. “Today I didn’t think about it and told myself to just get over the barrier.”
April Williams stood out in the women’s 400-meter hurdle, placing first with a time of one minute seven seconds, beating her second place opponent by four seconds.
Alejandro Martinez, 18, biological science major, placed second place in the men’s 100-meter hurdles. It was his first 100-meter hurdle, and he said he faced issues in that race.
“I struggled in the 110-meter hurdle race because sometimes other people’s arms get into your lane making it difficult to run, but I’m proud of myself because I my got season best triple jump”, Martinez said.
Sophomore Anya Tonga also had a another victory in shot put, throwing for 12.5 meters
“This was our second home game of the year and I am really happy the women’s team won again,” head coach Nick Mattis said. “It’s always nice to win at home. We had a lot of big personal best and season best times today. The next we’re home will be in May at the NorCal Championship, so that’s to make it to State.” head coach Nick Mattis said.
The next track event is the American River Invitational at American River College on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25. The De Anza track teams to do not compete at home again until the NorCal Finals at the start of May.