After a week off from competition, the Hancock track and field team will head to Bakersfield College on Friday, April 21, for the Western State Conference Prelims. It will serve as the conference final for a handful of field events and the 10,000-meter run, and the preliminary round for track events. The WSC Finals will take place next Friday, April 28, at Moorpark College.
The finals for the men's and women's long jump, high jump, discus throw and shot put events, as well as the 10K will take place at Bakersfield College. The top six in each advance automatically advance to next month's SoCal Prelims at Cerritos College.
There will be preliminary heats for the men's and women's 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter events. The top four in each 1,500 heat and the next fastest four times will qualify for next week's finals. The heat winners and next fastest times will move on the hurdles, 100, 200 and 400-meter events. The top two and the next fastest will move on in the 800.
Several Bulldogs rank in the top 30 in individual events headed into the prelims. Sophomore Steven Youngblood (Pioneer Valley HS) ranks third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:48.40; 28th in the men's 800 with a time of 2:03.20; 12th in the 1,500 at 4:08.31; 13th in the 3,000 at 9:15.07; and 23rd in the 5K at 16:22.46. Brent Dionisio (Pioneer Valley HS) sits second in the men's high jump at 6 feet, 9 inches, 1.75 inches behind the conference leader. He also sits No. 9 in the long jump with a top mark of 21 feet, 5.25 inches. Freshman Ben Wulfestieg (Cabrillo HS) sits ninth in the shot put at 40-8.75, No. 12 in the javelin at 136-5, and No. 29 in the discus throw at 100-1. Victor Osalde (Pioneer Valley HS) ranks No. 21 in the discus throw at 108-10, No. 18 in the shot put at 36-7 and No. 21 in the javelin throw at 121 feet. Freshman Jose Rodriguez (Cabrillo HS) ranks fifth in the pole vault at 14-5.25, or about one foot, 4.75 inches behind the conference leader.
On the women's side, sophomore Rachel Naugle (Graceway Private) ranks third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:46.06, No. 15 in the 3,000 at 11:16.29, No. 20 in the 1,500 with a time of 5:06.91, No. 21 in the 800 at 2:29.25, and No. 22 in the 5K at 19:59.25. Naugle finished sixth at least year's WSC Finals in the 1,500 and 5K, Sophomore Taylor Nevitt (Nipomo HS), the defending shot put conference champion, sits third in the shot put at 39 feet, 0.25 inch; third in the discus throw at 122 feet, eight inches; No. 8 in the hammer throw at 105-6; and No. 16 in the javelin throw at 76-1. Michaella Praska (Mater Dei HS) ranks No. 30 in the 100-meter dash at 13.52 seconds.
Bulldogs have won conference championships in each of the last three WSC Finals. Nevitt (women's shot put) and Luke Nickelson (men's long jump) won titles in 2016. Jonathan Springer (men's shot put) won in 2015, while Jonathon General (100-meter dash) and Steven de Comarmond (110-meter hurdles) won titles in 2014.