Women’s track and field win conference for fifth straight year


Monique Nethington

Lilian Eubanks (left center) prepares to hand off the second leg runner Breanna Curry (back right) during the women’s 4×100-meter relay event Friday at the South Coast Conference championship. The relay team would place first in the conference with a time of 46.57 seconds. Photo credit: Monique Nethington

Monique Nethington

Sophomore Amber Hart led a full Cerritos College sweep at the the South Coast Conference Track and Field Finals in the shot put event on Friday, April 28.


The women took the top-seven spots in the event accounting for 39 of the 341 total points for the day, and was only the beginning to the exceptional performance put on by the team.


In total field events accounted for 65% of the team total points– 221 points.


Hart grabbed the first win of the day placing first in the shot put with a distance of 12.95 meters.


She said, “I gave my best to put out good marks, and I still feel like there more I can do. I am glad I am able to do so in the next event.”


Moving on to the next event Juanita Webster added another stand out performance to her year nabbing the first place position in the long jump marking a distance 6.1 meters– 20 feet.


The distance would land her No.2 overall in the school’s record book just shy of the top-mark.


Webster said it wasn’t suprised when they told her about the record, and she wasn’t mad that she didn’t break that day.


“Before I wasn’t even close to breaking it,” she said. “Now I know that I am near it and I can take it down and for it to be mine.”


Following Webster in the event was Lilian Ebanks (4th,) Michaela Banyi (5th,) Amani Briggs (6th,) Brandy Navarro (9th,) and Suyan Carcedo (10.)


Ebanks said, “It is amazing that we have got such a good deep, talented team and have been able to accumulate so many powerful athletes that we can do [what we do.]”


She also competed in the triple jump finals earlier in the week, and placed second overall with a mark 11.28 meters following a first place jump by teammate Jelani Minix who marked 11.29 meters.


Among other first place finishers in fielding events were Crystal Rodriguez in hammer throw marking a 48.49 meter throw. Mystasia Alexander came first in both the discus throw marking a distance of 41.61 meters and in the javelin with a 42.45 meter throw.


The running events kicked off with the 3000-meter steeplechase event where the Falcons were represented only by Gabrielle Mendoza. She would run a 13:30 minute earning her a seventh place finish and two team points.


Adding to the first places finished, and first in the running events, was the 400-meter relay team.

During the race the team trailed behind Mt. SAC by just .3 of a second.


When the baton came to anchor Meka Story she was able make up the little ground that was need to push the team into first place.


The team clocked a time of 46.57 seconds, less than .3 seconds in front of Mt. SAC whose time was clocked at 46.85 seconds.

Story believed that the team could have competed better but said “We switched up the whole relay team, so to do that and still come in first still I think is pretty good.”

Ebanks also competed on the relay team as the lead leg. Contrary to her teammate she said she believed the team performed well and is ready for regionals, and eventually the state meet.

“We had just changed our order in the event and we were kind of worried how it would turn out, but it turned out really well,” Ebanks said. “Now that we are getting used to the order, we are going to start getting a lot faster.”

However, both women agree that by the end of the season the relay team will break the 400-meter relay record which is currently 45.74 seconds, about one second off the current team’s time.

The two also competed in the 100-meter race, along with Webster, who false started and was disqualified from the race.

She said that the false start didn’t worry her too much as she only saw the events which she competed in as practice for the state meet which she will compete in the heptathlon event.

She hopes to maintain her already current state championship status, while breaking 5500 total points in the process.

As for Story and Ebanks they would compete in the race, and finish. Story finished third overall with a time of 11.98 seconds, while Ebanks finished eighth with a time of 12.34 seconds.

Another member of the 400-meter relay team to earn a solo first place finish was Breanna Curry. She competed in the 400-meter open where she would clock a time 56.25 seconds just .1 second ahead of Kayla Gibson of Mt. SAC who finished second.

Following Curry, Cerritos had Kymberlynn Jackson finish fourth with a time of 58.17 seconds and Amanda Salgado taking the last scoring spot at eighth with a time of 60.84 seconds.

In the hurdle events Skylin Harbin once again had a record breaking performance. Her 63.33 second performance placed her first over in the 400-meter Intermediate Hurdle race, and third overall in the school’s record book for the event.

Leading the middle and long-distance runners was Rebecca Harris who placed third in both the 800-meter race and the 1500-meter race.

The team will now look forward to the Southern California Regional Championships, where they hope to move on to the state meet.

The team is currently the two-time reigning state champion and hope that this year they can go for a third.

Hart said, “Everybody here is hungry for it. Everybody here has been working hard, training and making sure they stay on task.”

Webster finished, “Everybody [on the team] has heart.”