The College of the Canyons track & field program let out a collective roar at last week’s Western State Conference North meet hosted by Ventura College, sweeping the meet and combining to bring home 10 event championships.
The COC men and women’s teams each claimed five individual titles in returning home as champions. COC student-athletes also posted 10 second-place finishes on the day.
The victory was the second in as many meets for the Cougars, who also emerged as event champions at the annual ‘Battle of the Regions’ meet hosted by Bakersfield College on Feb. 10.
COC’s women’s team totaled 157 event points to outlast host Ventura (116.5) and third place Bakersfield College (95).
On the men’s side, the Cougars finished with a mark of 143.5 to rank ahead of Bakersfield College (111) and Cuesta College (100).
COC freshman Jasmine Hall was one of the most decorated Cougars of the meet, finishing first in the high jump (1.68m), 100h (15.18) and javelin (34.33m).
Hall also ran anchor on COC’s 4x100m relay team, joining Ariana Cooper, Celeste Gonzalez and Sophia Stephan to record a second place time of 4:18.81.
Cooper was a first place finisher in the 400h with a time of 1:09.04, and took third in the 100h at 16.35.
Keyana Session was the final event winner on the women’s side, taking first in the triple jump with a leap of 10.30m.
COC’s second place finishers included Kaitlyn Matthews (high jump/1.60m), Samiyah Hawkins (discus/35.35m), Stephanie Martinez (3,000m/10:52.58), Jessica Ruiz (1,500m/4:55.58) and Dana Bowers (shot put/10.89m).
COC freshman Leo Lambert III was also a three-event winner, taking first in the 400m with a time of 49.17 and later helping the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams finish in front.
In the 4x100m, Lambert, Delon Bencio, Slade Cavallaro and Louis Eusebi ran to a time of 43.36.
Later in the 4x400m, the combination of Cavallaro, Buncio, Keion Broadus and Lambert found more first place success after being clocked at 3:26.2.3.
Lambert, who is also a running back on the COC football team, sprinted to a second place time of 22.45 in the 200m to round out his day.
Buncio claimed an individual event championship with a first-place mark of 6.81m in the long jump, along with a measurement of 12.70m to take third in the triple jump.
Likewise, Cavallaro took first place in the 400h at a time of 58.63.
COC sophomore Zach Larson picked up a pair of second-place finishes in the 100h (16.19) and 400h (58.95).
Eric Sachs threw for a second place distance of 44.16m in the javelin and Travis Larson posted a time of 1:59.76 to finish second in the 800m.
Canyons returns to action at the two-day California State University, Los Angeles Invitational March 3-4. Friday’s throwing events will be held at Cerritos College. On Saturday, the action will then shift back to Jesse Owens Track at CSULA.
COC Swim & Dive
The COC swim & dive program competed at the annual Mt. SAC Invitational held Feb. 23-25 in Walnut. The men’s team tied for sixth place in the field of eight, while the women’s team was 15th among the 21 competing schools.
COC freshman Jessie Kim led the men’s team with a first place time of 25.18 in the 50-yard backstroke. Kim also took second in the 100-yard backstroke at 53.92, before finishing fourth in the 100-yard butterfly at 54.48.
Sophomore Jessica Yamauchi placed a pace of 29.73 in the 50-yard backstroke and was the best finish of the day for the women’s team. Yamauchi went on to take third in the 100-yard backstroke at 1:03.73 and capped the meet with a fourth-place result in the 200-yard version of the event.
The Cougars will host the first WSC meet of the season on Saturday, at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. Events will begin at 10 a.m.
COC Men’s Golf
The COC men’s golf team carded a five-man score of 374 at Stockdale Country Club on Monday, as the Cougars claimed their first victory of the season at the Western State Conference tourney hosted by Bakersfield College.
The event represented the first conference tournament of the season, after last week’s WSC tourney hosted by Santa Barbara City College was postponed due to inclement weather.
On Monday, Canyons was first in the clubhouse followed by second place Ventura College (384) and third place Glendale College (388).
Sophomore Ben Campbell was the leader for the Cougars with his round of 72. That score ranked him second among the field of 46 golfers, just two strokes of the medalist mark of 70 turned in by Joey Herrera of Ventura.
Sophomore Jaeyeol Kim was next for Canyons with his score of 74, followed by freshman Daniel Taplin at 75. Freshmen Michael Lindgren and Greg Smith filled the Cougars top-five with rounds of 76 and 77, respectively.
Canyons competes next at the WSC tourney hosted by Ventura, to be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard.
COC to Host ‘Big Win’
The COC Athletics Department is hosting its annual “Big Win” benefit event on March 16, with all Cougar fans, supporters and alumni invited to an evening of food and fun in support of the college’s sports programs.
Highlighting the event will be a raffle in which one lucky person will walk away with a $3,000 grand prize.
Tickets to the event are $100 each and include two BBQ tri-tip dinners catered by Stonefire Grill, four drink tickets and one raffle entry into the “Big Win.” Winner need not be present to win.
Net proceeds will benefit the COC Cougar Club, which supports the college’s 16 intercollegiate sports programs.
The “Big Win” event will be held in the “Cougar Cage” located in the West physical education building on the college’s Valencia campus. Event parking will be available in campus lots 5 and 6, located off Rockwell Canyon Road.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. The $3,000 grand prize raffle drawing will begin at 8 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets please call the COC Foundation at 661-362-3545 or 661-362-3737.