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Leos begin sprint to SCIAC finish

La Verne’s Jared Manke, a junior, runs the 100 meter dash at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday. After several false starts by other runners, Manke, who finished in 11.64 seconds, ran the 100 meters instead of his usual event, the pole vault. / photo by Warren Bessant

Cheryl Regan
Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s track teams took part in the 25th annual Pomona-Pitzer Invita­tional on Saturday where the men’s 4×400 team took first place, women’s 4×100 finished in fifth, and men’s 4×100 took third. There were about 15 colleges at the event. Also, people could join the meet unattached and take part in any event.

Michael Sacoto, Kyle Quintero, Chancise Watkins and Marcus Fortugno finished the 4×400 Meter Relay with a time of 3:19.2. They finished two seconds before the second place team, Southern Utah.

Fortugno, Paul Turner, Watkins and Ray Del Rio raced in the 4×100 Meter Relay and took third place with a time of 41.65.

This was a faster time than the Cal-Nevada State Champ­ionships where they finished in 42.18.

“We ran a good time today, once we get our hand offs down we can get our time down to 41.1 or 41.2 and make it to nationals,” freshman Watkins said.

“We still have a lot to work on,” Fortugno said. “We have to work on our hand offs more, and with the Championships coming in a few weeks it will be perfect.”

The NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships will be May 26-28 in Columbus, Ohio.

“We had a new anchor today, and did pretty well, we need to work on our hand offs more,” sophomore Turner said. “My mentality is to run my best, and make sure I hold up my end of the race.”

“We dropped down our time today, but I’m still a little disappointed,” Del Rio said. “We could have qualified for nationals today, but we still have a couple weeks left to qualify.”

Junior DeAntwann Johnson raced in the men’s 110-meter hurdles where he finished in second place by a hair in heat four with a time of 15.71.

He was right behind Southern Utah runner Donovan Lewis, who finished first in the heat with a time of 15.50.

“It took me a while to get warmed up, but it was my second best time of the season,” Johnson said.

Lili Bolanos, Samantha Tucker, Nicole Crutchfield, and Ebony Williams raced in the women’s 4×100 relay where they placed fifth out of 11 teams with a time of 49.17.

“We had a great hand off compared to the rest of our races,” Tucker said. “We are now more competitive in SCIAC.”

“Today felt really good, this got us physically and mentally ready in SCIAC,” sophomore Bolanos said.

Fortugno ran the 100 meter dash and placed sixth overall with a time 10.86. Fortugno also competed in the 200 and finished his race in second place in heat one with a time of 21.62.

Tucker received first place in section four as she competed in the 200 with a time of 26.40. Bolanos, Julia Borges, Samantha McComisky and Marilyn Argueta also competed in the 200, each receiving fourth place in their heats.

Men’s and women’s track and field next compete on Saturday in SCIAC No. 3 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Pomona-Pitzer and Caltech at CMS.

Cheryl Regan can be reached at

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