Sophomores Rachel Naugle, Steven Youngblood and Taylor Nevitt, as well as freshman Jose Rodriguez earned top-six finishes Friday during the Western State Conference Track and Field Championships at Moorpark College. All three qualified for next week's Southern California Regional Trials at Cerritos College. In all, Hancock will send six athletes to the SoCal Regional.
Naugle finished third in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase final with a time of 12:04.80 to earn six points for the Bulldogs and earn a spot in the SoCal Regional Trials. Last week, Naugle finished third in the 10,000-meter final with a time of 40:11.53. Her top-six finish in the 10K automatically qualified her for the Southern California Regional Championship Finals on May 13. Distance events, like the 5K and 10K, do not hold heats in the SoCal Trials.
Nevitt finished sixth in the women's hammer throw with a mark of 112 feet, 4 inches to earn the final qualifying spot for Regional. The Nipomo High School graduate qualified for Regional in three events. Last week, Nevitt came in third in the shot put with a mark of 36 feet, 9.5 inches; and fourth in the discus throw with a toss of 110 feet, 8 inches.
Youngblood came in fourth in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase final with a time of 10:09.13 to earn five points for the Hancock men. The Pioneer Valley High School graduate finished less than two seconds behind the third-place finisher.
Rodriguez finished sixth in the men's pole vault to advance to Regional. The Cabrillo High School graduate was one of three jumpers to tie for fourth place with a top clearance of 13 feet, 7.25 inches, but finished sixth overall by virtue of number of attempts.
Last week, Brent Dionisio punched his ticket to Regional when he cleared a personal-best 6 feet, 10.25 inches to win the conference's men's high jump title. Freshman Ben Wulfestieg (pictured below) finished sixth in the men's shot put final to punch a ticket to Regional. His top mark was 41 feet, 1.75 inches.
The six Bulldogs, Naugle, Nevitt, Rodriguez, Dionisio, Wulfestieg and Youngblood, qualified for Regional in a total of nine events. Victor Osalde was selected as an alternate in the men's javelin after he finished tenth in the men's javelin Friday with a top mark of 127 feet, 9 inches.
In order to advance to the SoCal Regional Finals, competitors in throwing events, like Nevitt, must finish in the top 12. Dionisio and Rodriguez must finish in the top nine at the trials to advance to the finals. The top four in each steeplechase heat, as well as the next four-fastest times will advance to the final.