Sarah Van Buskirk
Sophomore hurdler Zackary Reid and junior high jumper Olvia Magby led the way for the men’s and women’s track and field teams at the 106th annual Southern California Intercollegiate Conference Championship meet Saturday and Sunday at the Aubrey Bonham Track at Whittier’s Memorial Stadium, earning first place finishes in their events.
Reid won the men’s 110-meter hurdles preliminaries at 15.01 seconds on Saturday and then topped it with a 14.64 time in the finals on Sunday.
Reid said he did not feel too much pressure from the surrounding schools’ racers.
“What it really was for me was to come out on Sunday afternoon and stay relaxed and do my own things,” Reid said.
Magby made a big statement reaching a height of 1.75-meters in the women’s high jump, which won her the medal. Magby said that this season was a hard and long journey that took a lot of patience to get through.
“I have a history of chronic scoliosis so Sunday I was in excruciating pain,” Magby said. “But when you go to a championship meet you have to give it your all and treat every jump like it is your last.”
A few other Leopards placed on the better half of the list during Saturday’s meet.
Sophomore sprinter Dante Carter placed seventh in the men’s 100-meter dash preliminaries at 10.91 seconds.
“Once they called the 100-meters, all I could think at that moment was once that gun goes off give it everything you have,” Carter said. “And I did, I was able to break my 11-second barrier.”
Carter also placed in the No. 13 spot for the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 22.26 seconds. Carter’s performance on Sunday placed him in fifth place for the 100-meter.
Right behind Carter in the 200-meter dash was sophomore sprinter Ivan Estrada at 22.37 seconds. Estrada also found himself crossing the finish line on the 400-meter dash in 50.80 seconds.
In the No. 14 and No. 15 spots for the 400-meter dash, senior sprinter Austin Haines and sophomore sprinter Jayden Figueroa cleaned up the tail end of the race for the Leopards.
Sophomore jumper Kenneth Davis placed fifth on Saturday in the men’s long jump reaching a height of 6.43 meters. Davis then hit a personal record of 12.91 on Sunday to place ninth in the men’s triple jump.
Reid, Carter, Davis and Estrada came together on Sunday for the men’s 4×100-meter relay finishing in sixth place with a time of 42.69 seconds.
Reid, Estrada, Figueroa and Haines went the distance and placed fourth in the men’s 4×400-meter dash with a season’s best of 3:25.12.
On Saturday, freshman Brandon Pedroza placed sixth in the men’s discus throw with a distance of 38.88 meters. Pedroza also put himself in the No. 14 spot for the hammer throw, reaching 29.09 meters.
Two new faces showed their talent during Sunday’s meet.
Freshman sprinter T.K. Herhe reached fourth place on the men’s 5,000-meter, putting himself at No. 2 on the La Verne all-time list with a time of 14:35.98.
Freshman jumper Zackery Deering-Haddix was high up on the leaderboard in second place for the men’s high jump with 1.97 meters.
Freshman Mira Juncaj participated in the combined events on Saturday and placed third for the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.15 seconds. Juncaj kept up her speed on Sunday and placed second in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.83 seconds and sixth in high jump at 1.52 meters.
Juncaj said this past weekend was her last meet of the season even though the Leopards have a few more invitationals to attend.
“I’ll definitely take away from this season that not every meet will go your way.” Juncaj said. “You cannot dwell on it when you do not perform how you would like but instead use that as experience to improve for next season.”
Three places down from Juncaj for the 100-meter hurdles was senior hurdler Jazzlyn Johnson who placed sixth at 15.63 seconds. Johnson put herself in ninth place for the women’s long jump, launching 4.83 meters.
Another well placed Leopard for women’s long jump was Ha’ani Untalan who was right behind Johnson in the No. 10 spot hurling 4.67 meters forward. Untalan used Sunday to better herself placing fourth in women’s high jump at 1.52 meters.
Sophomore Vera Juncaj placed 10th in the high jump with 1.42 meters.
Junior hurdler Kaitlin Handler placed seventh in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 73.58 seconds on Saturday and moved up a seed to sixth place on Sunday awith 73.29.
A few other Leopards made their place setting debut on Sunday. Junior pole vaulter Devin Spreeman placed ninth in women’s pole vault with a height of 2.77 meters and junior Hailee Kessler participated in the combined events, placing eighth for the javelin with a throw of 29.93 meters.
The Leopards will travel to the Occidental Invitational on Saturday to look for more top finishes.
Sarah Van Buskirk can be reached at email@example.com.
In an earlier version of this story, T.K. Herhe’s name was misspelled. The Campus Times regrets the error.
Sarah Van Buskirk is a junior journalism major and the 2022-2023 editor-in-chief of the Campus Times. She has previously served as sports editor and staff writer.