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Vaqueros set 14 season bests in SBCC Easter Open

Austin Venezia takes the baton from Alex Ramirez on the third leg of the 4 x 400 relay. The Vaqueros took second in 3:37.72. (Photo by Scott Fickerson)
Austin Venezia takes the baton from Alex Ramirez on the third leg of the 4 x 400 relay. The Vaqueros took second in 3:37.72. (Photo by Scott Fickerson)

Alex Ramirez and Charles Perry recorded a pair of season bests on Friday and the SBCC men's track & field team had 14 season bests in the SBCC Easter Open at La Playa Stadium.

Ramirez ran 4:05.12 to take fourth in the 1500 and came back a short time later to narrowly miss winning his heat in the 800 in a season-best time of 2:00.53.

Perry, a freshman from San Marino, Calif., improved his 1500 season-low time to 4:23.78 and his 800 by a whopping seven seconds, down to 2:09.38. Ramirez also ran the second leg on the Vaqueros' second-place squad in the 4 x 400 relay. The other relay members were Jordan Shinn, Austin Venezia and Ramon Casillas.

Westmont, a four-year NAIA school in Montecito, topped the 12-team men's field with 145 points. Moorpark was second with 103, Hartnell was a point behind in third and SBCC placed fourth with 67.

Casillas was involved in the most exciting finish of the day with runners from Pasadena and Westmont colliding in the final straightaway and falling to the infield. Casillas narrowly missed catching a struggling Westmont runner, who reached the line just 2.7 seconds ahead of him.

Venezia, a freshman from San Marcos High, had a strong day with a season-best of 23.01 in the 200. He took fifth in the 100 in 11.71.

The Vaqueros notched three second-place finishes. Jordan Shinn was second in the 400 hurdles in 57.85 and Chris Aichinger tied for the best height in the pole vault at 4.73 meters (15-6¼) but lost to Derek Masterson of the Santa Barbara Track Club on misses. Cameron Shinn was second in the long jump in a season-best 6.39 meters (20-11¾) and third in the triple jump (13.11m; 43-0¼).

"The meet ran smoothly and the team enjoyed competing at home," said coach Scott Fickerson. "The weather was perfect with mild temperatures and no wind. It was a beautiful Santa Barbara day. I am grateful for the teams who joined us in finishing off the regular season."

The Vaqueros will compete in the WSC Prelims on Friday at Bakersfield, starting at noon. Most events are prelims, however, conference finals will be on the line in the shot put, discus, long jump, high jump and 10,000 on Friday, April 21.