Track and field powers through stormy weather at Ron Kamaka Open

Ashlyn Ledbetter
Staff Writer

The La Verne track and field teams attended the Ron Kamaka Open event Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College’s Hilmer Lodge Stadium.

The Leopards were originally scheduled to attend the Rossi Relays, hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. However, the meet was postponed, sending the Leopards to the open event.

The event is named in honor of Ron Kamaka, a professor of kinesiology and head coach of men’s cross country and track and field at Mt. SAC, who died in 2022.

Sophomore sprinter Jayden Figueroa placed fourth for the Leopards in the men’s 400-meter run with a time of 51.95. This was Figueroa’s fastest time so far in the 2023 track season. 

“There’s still a few things that I need to work on but I think I’ve been doing OK. It’s still early in the season so I’ve got some time,” Figueroa said. “The team has been pretty consistent in our workouts and being on time to everything so I think we are preparing to have a good season.”

Following Figueroa was his teammate, freshman Hunter Bond, who placed ninth in the men’s 400-meter run with a time of 53.74, a personal best. 

“I think the season is going good so far and our team has been doing really well, we are getting better everyday,” Bond said. “I am always looking forward to getting to go to practice everyday after all my classes.” 

Bond also participated in long jump and the 4×400-meter relay.

Junior jumper Kenneth Davis was able to place 10th for the Leopards with a distance of 6.07 meters on long jump.

“During my event, all that’s running through my mind is to just get up as far as I can and try to make sure I don’t pull my hamstring again,” Davis said. “Our team chemistry has built up a lot since last year. We are expecting some big things this season and I think we’re all at a good point compared to last year.”

The Leopards took third place in the women’s 4×100-meter relay with a time of 59.68.

“I think we all gave it our best. It was pouring rain the entire time so we did what we could with the circumstances we were in,” sophomore relay team member Marlene Miller said. “This was my first meet of the season, I just came back after taking some time off and I’m feeling more confident than ever.”

Miller also ran in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and the 4×400-meter. She was able to set a collegiate personal best in the 200-meter with a time of 31.68. 

Track and field’s next meet will take place Saturday in Pomona for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference No. 1 event.

Ashlyn Ledbetter can be reached at

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