Track faces the elite at Claremont
Posted May 12, 2006
Sergio Sandoval
University of La Verne junior Darnell Gilbert (right) competed in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.79, placing third. The Leopards competed in the Claremont Classic last Saturday.

With the 2006 season coming to an end, the Claremont Classic kicked off on May 6 at the Burns Track and Field complex.

The meet hosted several schools and independent athletes from across California in many events. Among several schools represented at the Classic were USC, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside and several other Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rivals such as Redlands and Cal Lutheran.

For La Verne, there were many athletes that had promising showings at this prestigious invitational.

Sprinter Deonne McLean competed in the women’s 400 meters which featured more than 17 competitors.

McLean managed to finish ninth in the standings with a final time of 59.37 seconds.

“As a senior, I am pretty satisfied with what I have done,” McLean said. “I just want to finish the season and do my best.”

Staying with the women, jumper Trenecca Jones tied in sixth place with four others in the high jump. Jones finished with a distance of 1.49 meters along with athletes from University of Mary and Colorado College.

In the pole vault, Katrina McCoy competed with a distance slightly more than three meters in a highly competitive field.

While in the javelin, junior Veronica Andrews finished with the highest mark of the day with fourth place.

Andrews completed the event with a distance of 39 meters, just behind the next closest competitor from Azusa Pacific.

Long distance runner Alexis Candelaria and pole vaulter Chelsea Sherier also competed in their events respectively.

“There was a lot of competition and a lot of division one athletes out there so it was fun competing against some girls you can see making it to the Olympics soon,” Andrews said.

For the men, though many La Verne athletes were qualified, only two male athletes participated in the Claremont Classic.

Junior Darnell Gilbert competed in the 100 meter event with a field of over 26 sprinters.

Gilbert finished in third place with a time of 10.79 seconds in the first heat of the event.

Senior Dennis Parr was the other male competitor in the discuss throws, where again there was a populated field of athletes.

Parr competed among 20 others and placed in 17th place with a distance of 38.08 meters.

The men competitors although sparse well represented the overall team effort this year.

“There was a lot of good competition and this was a real good meet,” Parr said. “I think I had a pretty good season, and I always did my best every meet I was in.”

La Verne track and field athletes participating in this invitational will be heading to the Occidental Invitational on May 13 for their final meet of the year.

La Verne athletes still holding national record times and marks will travel to compete in the NCAA championships May 27 in Lisle, Ill.

Galo Pesantes can be reached at


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