After the Beaver Relays at ARC were disrupted by weather and a schedule change, the American River Invitational was run at full capacity and under clear skies.
This meet featured upwards of 20 schools in attendance, as well as unattached athletes, which meant that every event was pretty competitive.
On the men’s side, ARC’s Dejon Joseph finished 2nd overall for the 800m dash while teammate Alan Quintero finished 3rd overall. Joe Shanahan and Anthony Sanchez won their heat races as well.
Abdul Hamid finished 2nd overall for the men’s 1500m race, followed by Alan Quintero and Steven Hill winning their heat races.
Cambron Lyles won the pole vault event, clearing the bar at a personal best of 4.82m.
For the women, Stevie Jones and Jessica Swingle won their heat races for the 200m and 800m respectively, Micayla Rennick finished second in the 1500m and the 4x400m relay team finished in second overall.
Women’s head coach Jeanette Allred-Powless said that they “were blessed with very good weather” and “had a lot of good marks.”
Men’s coach Rick Anderson agreed and added that the position of the parking garage was beneficial to the wind factor.
“The parking garage is helpful because it blocks the wind going down the backstretch, gives a tailwind going down the frontstretch, and it helps the long jump,” said Anderson.
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Swingle said that the team performed admirably in the meet and that they had accomplished a lot.
“I think we did pretty well. A lot of people (reached new personal records) so that’s good,” Swingle said.
Hassen (Ozzie) Hassen, who raced in the 800m dash and the 1500m run, said that he uses the shorter runs to practice for the long races.
“This is like a speed workout for me. I’m not an 800 or 1500 guy, I like long distances like a 5k or a 10k race,” Hassen said.
Hassen also said that while racing at home is better most of the time, it doesn’t impact his motivation to run faster.
“Everywhere we go, we want to get a big PR (personal record) and race faster. It doesn’t matter if it’s a home meet or outside,” Hassen said.
Allred-Powless said that being cheered on by people who support them is a big reason for home field advantage.
“They like to compete at home because (of) the home field advantage and get to have their family and friends cheer them on,” Allred-Powless said. “This year was nice because we had a lot of alumni come back to compete and support us.”
Anderson also highlighted defending NorCal champions College of the Sequoias as the main challenger for this year’s event.
“Last year we scored the most points we ever scored in that event and they ended up beating us by 5 points,” Anderson said. “This year it’s probably going to be the same and come down to the wire.”
ARC’s next meet is the San Francisco State University Distance Carnival on April 1 in San Francisco.