Long Beach City College Track and Field Announced Tuesday that 14 athletes will move on to compete at the 2015 Southern California Championship Finals following impressive performances at the SoCal Prelims meet on Saturday at Cerritos College. Eleven men and three women will advance to Saturday’s finals on Saturday, May 9 at Cerritos College.
Bayano Kamani, the head men’s track and field coach for LBCC, had zero athletes qualify for the Southern California Championship Finals in 2014, his first year as head coach. This year, 11 men will advance to Saturday’s finals where they will compete to qualify for the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship meet on May 15 and 16 at College of San Mateo.
Kamani spoke about last year’s recruitment hurdles and his hopes for changing potential students’ perceptions of LBCC for the better.
“I didn’t have any time to recruit, but the kids that I had on the team were good kids,” Kamani said. “So I knew that if it was going to start from anywhere, it was going to start with them. They were going to have to come back the following years as leaders, even though they weren’t going to be the best on the team.”
Kamani said that despite recruiting efforts, a stigma still surrounds LBCC as a school kids would prefer not to attend.
"We're trying to change that," said Kamani. "I think this season is going to help in regards to bringing top talent back to LBCC.”
The Vikings men who qualified for the finals include Damond Burns, who sprinted in both the 100 and 200 meter events. Burns will join Anterio Bateman, Jordan Noble, and Jacob Thorton for the 4x100-meter relay. Burns, along with Phillip Powell, Noble, and Travis Thomas will also compete in the 4x400-meter relay.
Freshman Jared Jones won his heat and was first overall in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to secure his spot in the finals. His time of 9:32.52 ranks No. 9 on the all-time LBCC performance list.
Thomas also won his heat of the 400-meter hurdles and finished third overall. Powell will also move on to the finals in the 800-meter event, while Jose Ochoa will compete in the javelin, Justin Weaver in the 1500, Omar Torres in the 5000 and Thorton in the high jump.
Of the women, Chantel Dunson and Danasia Richard will both move on individually and as part of the 4x100-meter relay team. Dunson had the top prelim mark in the triple jump at 11.47 meters while Richard was second in her heat and sixth overall in the 100 meters. Dunson and Richard will team up with Deborahnay Love and Sharone Nora for the 4x100 meter relay final.
Head Women’s Track and Field Coach Karen Vigilant-Goodman, who has been coaching at the college since 2006, said the athletes told her they had something to prove. They said they were going to give it their all and leave nothing on the finish line in hopes of qualifying for the CCCAA State Championship meet, she said.
Like the men’s team, zero female athletes qualified to the finals last year, but that’s nothing the women’s coach is worried about.
“Even though you have a couple of down years, you can come back up,” she said. “So I'm really excited to see where we finish.”
The Southern California Finals are set for Saturday, May 9 at Cerritos College. Field events begin at 11:00 AM with track events to start at 2:00PM.
Southern California Championships – Preliminaries May 2, 2015
Damond Burns, 100 meters, 3rd heat/8thoverall, 11.03
Damond Burns, 200 meters, 2nd heat/5th overall, 21.85
Phillip Powell, 800 meters, 5th heat/9th overall, 1:56.51
Justin Weaver, 1500 meters, 6th heat/11th overall, 4:05.86
Phillip Powell, 1500 meters, 9th heat/18th overall, 4:12.23
Omar Torres, 5000 meters
Omar Torres, 10,000 meters, 10th overall, 32:16.44 (Final)
Bayron Manuel, 110-meter hurdles, DQ
Travis Thomas, 400-meter hurdles, 1st heat/3rd overall, 54.09
Jared Jones, 3000-meter steeplechase, 1st heat/1st overall, 9:32.52
4x100-meter relay, 2nd heat/3rd overall, 41.69
4x400-meter relay, 3rd heat/6th overall, 3:18.85
Jacob Thorton, High Jump, 14th, 1.92m
Jose Ochoa, Javelin, 7th, 47.03
Danasia Richard, 100 meters, 2nd heat/6th overall, 12.31
Chantel Dunson, 200 meters, 4th heat/12th overall, 25.52
Danasia Richard, 200 meters, 6th heat/17th overall, 26.09
Deborahnay Love, 400 meters, 5th heat/14th overall, 1:00.71
Malika Spencer, 800 meters, 7th heat/20th overall, 2:29.62
4x100-meter relay, 5th heat/8th overall, 48.69
4x400-meter relay, 5th heat/11th overall, 4:11.90
Chantel Dunson, Triple Jump, 1st, 11.47m
Danasia Richard, High Jump, 17th, 1.41m
Deborahnay Love, Long Jump, 20th, 4.66m