West Los Angeles College captured both women and men’s Western State Conference Track and Field Championships Friday at Moorpark College. This is the fourth-consecutive title for the women and the team’s ninth in 12 years. This also marks the third time in college history that West has swept both titles in the same season.
Among the outstanding performances were local high school alumni. Steven Ashby, Culver City High School graduate placed first in the long jump with a mark of 22 feet 7 inches. Sophomore DeChanelle Govnes, a Westchester High School alum, won both the triple jump and high jump with marks of 37 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 1 inch, respectively. Aria Calhoun, a former Dorsey High Don, won both the 100 meters with a time of 12.01 seconds and the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.42 seconds. Calhoun also ran first leg on the victorious 4×100 relay and anchor leg on the first place 4×400 relay team.
The men’s team won with a total of 149 points, edging out Moorpark by eight points. The women won with a total of 171 points, defeating Cuesta College by an astounding 68.5 points.
“We put ourselves in good position last week by getting virtually all of our students through to today’s finals and everybody stepped up and contributed,” head coach Dan Fitzpatrick said. “It was a true team effort as we had big-time performances all day long. We basically had personal bests across the board.”
The Wildcat men set the tone for the day in the first two events. Sophomores Ariel Conde and Armando Lozano finished 1-3 in the 3000k steeplechase with times of 9:45.77 and 9:52.78, respectively. West also earned a surprise 4×100 relay win with a time of 42.09 seconds.
On the women’s side, Calhoun was the star of the meet as she helped account for 40 points for West. She teamed up with Aja Hill, Tania Cunningham, and Ashlie Curenton in the short relay and Andrea Gonzalez-Macias, Brenda Rosales-Coria, and Hill in the long relay. Rosales-Coria, defending state champion, won the 800 meters in a state-leading 2:14.09, while Cynthia Melendez placed first in the 10k at 39:58.05. Cureton took top honors in the long jump at 17 feet 9.5 inches as the women’s team collected nine individual titles.
The Wildcats’ focus now turns to the Southern California Championships at Riverside City College. The top six finishers in each event at the Western State Conference meet qualified for the Southern California Prelims on May 4; West will return to Riverside to compete in the finals on Saturday.
Ricardo Hooper, Michelle Long-Coffee