By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
BAKERSFIELD — College of the Canyons brought home three All-American designations and set a new school record during the two-day California Community College Athletic Association Track & Field State Championships hosted by Bakersfield College May 18-19.
Sophomore Marcel Sylvester finished third in the high jump with a leap of 2.00m to present the top overall finish for Canyons. Sylvester’s mark actually tied for second-place, but he was bumped to third based on his previous jumps. That effort earned Sylvester JC All-American honors.
COC’s 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams also had a great run at the state championship meet.
The foursome of Leo Lambert III, Slade Cavallaro, Blake Beeler and Calel Christian finished fourth in the 4x100m at a time of 41.69 to also earn JC All-American status. The team had previously won the Western State Conference (WSC) title in the event, before placing second at the Southern California Regional Championships.
Later, the 4x400m combination of Lambert, Steven Arrington, Beeler and Cavallaro posted a school-record time of 3:13.62 to finish fourth in the field and claim JC All-American Honors. The team, which finished runner up at the conference championships, originally did not qualify for the state meet due to a disqualification at the SoCal Championships. However, COC was able to successfully appeal that decision, allowing the Cougars to compete at the state championships.
As a team, Canyons (16) placed 14th after competing in just three events. Mt. SAC (160) won the men’s team state championship followed by Riverside City College (122) and College of the Sequoias (95).
Takaira Beard had a big day for COC’s women’s team. The freshman placed eighth in the heptathlon with 3,779 event points. She was eighth in the 100h (17.42), third in the high jump (1.58m), ninth in the shot put (8.18m), ninth in the 200m (27.98), sixth in the long jump (4.75m), seventh in the javelin (22.99m) and seventh in the 800m (2:34.53).
In the high jump event Beard, the WSC champion, finished seventh at 1.55m.
Beard also competed as a member of the 4x100m relay team, rounding out the combination of Brianna Helsley, Amber Gatewood and Alicia Hurst to clock a ninth-place time of 51.31.
COC sophomore Sophia Stephan was eighth in the 1,500m at a time of 4:55.18.
Meanwhile, sophomore Stephanie Martinez was seventh in the 10,000m at a time of 40:42.38 and ninth in the 5,000m at 19:34.41.
Mt. SAC (169.5) won the women’s state championship followed by Cerritos College (154) and third place Riverside (54). Canyons was 26th overall in the team standings.
A full listing of event results can be found here.
For more photos, click here.
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