Warriors are bronzed in South Coast Conference track and field championships


El Camino’s Israel Cardona (right) begins to make his move to the front of the pack in the men’s 1500 meter race at Murdock Stadium on Friday, April 28. Cardona won the event with a time of 4:05.21. Photo credit: Don Perez

On a day where the wind was making its presence felt, sophomore Israel Cardona went by the competition in a sudden gust in the men’s 1500 meter race.

As the runners made the turn at the southeast corner of Murdock Stadium during the South Coast Conference Championships on Friday, April 28, Cardona accelerated and was just fast enough to win the event, clocking in a time of 4:05.21.

Mt. San Antonio College’s Michael Dondalski was at his heels, .63 seconds behind Cardona.

“I caught them off guard. I had a lot going for me into the fourth lap,” Cardona said, still catching his breath minutes later, and adding the slow start and home field went in his favor.

El Camino track and field coach Dean Lofgren saw the moment as well.

Lofgren said Cardona dropped a little bit off the pace there with 200 to go. There’s that moment where you have to make a decision, ‘Are you going to make a move to win or are you going to just settle where you are?’

“He made the move and that was a huge, huge final stretch for him,” Lofgren said. “Really good to see him do well.”

Cardona’s win helped the men’s track and field team secure third place on Friday. The women’s team from EC also finished in third place.

“It went well, even with the wind,” Lofgren said.

Justin Alexander, who won the men’s 400 meter hurdles with a time of 52.67, didn’t believe the wind made it easy.

“It felt like a brick wall [smashing] into your fac,” Alexander said. “It’s about to tip me over now because I’m tired.”

Top finishes for the women’s side included EC sophomore Shukura Tyler andfreshamn Ivery Cody, placing first and third in the women’s 100 meter hurdles with times of 14.12 and 14.80, respectively and sophomore Yazmine Al-Uqdah taking the high jump with a mark of 1.65 meters,

On the men’s side, sophomore Solomon Kanehailua finished with a time of 10:04.20 in the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase;

Mt. SAC and Cerritos College took the top score in men and women’s track and field events, respectively.

While EC was the physical host of the meet, Mt. SAC was the designated host. The Mounties’ track and field facilities are currently unavailable due to construction.