The University of La Verne held its track and field invitational on Saturday with more than a dozen teams from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and local community colleges. In the first heat of the men’s 1,500-meter race, Efrain Partida ran up from the pack throughout the race, and placed seventh with a time of 4:12.
The 10th annual University of La Verne invitational was held March 25 at Ortmayer Stadium which brought together more than a dozen schools and several independent competitors. More than 20 events were offered and several La Verne track and field athletes represented with strong performances throughout the day.
In one of the first events of the day, La Verne shot put athletes Antoinette Borders and Christine Mayaki performed well and finished to place in the top three of the competition.
Borders, a freshman from Sacramento, took first place in the event while Mayaki did not disappoint as she won third place in women’s shot put.
In the women’s discuss throw, the Leopards had four competitors in the event with three of them finishing in the top 10 of the standings.
Danielle Lampkin won the event by a convincing distance over the next closest competitor of Orange Coast College. Junior Veronica Andrews placed fifth finishing two spots ahead of Mayaki in the final standings for shot put.
“I had a lot of momentum and motivation in the invitational,” Andrews said. “I had a lot more energy to compete and do well in front of the home crowd here in La Verne.”
La Verne women Andrews and Lampkin both competed in the women’s javelin competition.
Andrews came out victorious this time in first place with Lampkin not far behind in second place. The high jump, pole vault and long jump events were well represented by the Leopards.
Fontana native Deonne McLean finished in first place in the women’s long jump and was among seven ULV field athletes to compete in the event. Freshman Brianna Gonzalez kept things going for La Verne as she finished in second place in the triple jump while Trenecca Jones finished the event in fourth place.
La Verne completed the women’s events with strong showings in the 100 meter and 200 meter events with McLean and Kristine Stokes finishing admirably in both events.
“Our women are on their way to winning another SCIAC title this season,” said thrower Dennis Parr. “They just need to keep improving and keep doing what they been doing in practice.”
On the men’s side, junior sprinters Darnell Gilbert and Efrain Partida paced the Leopards with its strongest showings in the men’s 100 meter, 200 meter and 1,500 meter events. In particular, Gilbert finished both his events in the top 10, both times losing to independent sprinters.
The Leopards saw more success in other events such as the long jump where sophomore Jon Fitzhugh placed sixth in the final tally. While field athletes senior Daniel Parr and sophomore Gabriel Garcia, competed at a high level in the men’s shot put and discuss throw.
Parr’s best finish was fifth place in the discuss throw while Garcia finished in ninth place. Although several men’s events were represented, the Leopards were short handed in several events with many competitors unable and unavailable to compete in Saturday’s meet.
“The main goal now is conference,” said head track and field coach Pat Widolff. “We hope to get our relay teams better for both men and women and be ready to compete for the conference title coming up.”
Next up for La Verne track and field women’s and men’s teams will be the SCIAC multi-dual competition.
The men’s team will travel to Claremont to compete while the women will head to Whittier for their events.
The men will compete at 5 p.m. today while the women will compete at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The La Verne men will hope to improve on their two sixth place finishes in their scored meets this year.
In addition, the women’s team will strive to build momentum for another SCAIC title and hope to build off of their first and second place finishes this season.
Galo Pesantes can be reached at email@example.com.