PCC track and field athletes competed at both the community college and university levels in the Mt. SAC Relays earlier this month. Once again the Lancers were led by freshman sprinter Alexander McElwee who made his name known among potential 4-year university suitors with his state-fastest time in the 400-meters.
PCC athletes who qualified competed on April 11 for the community college Mt. SAC Relays. McElwee qualified for the university level relays which were held from the April 16 to April 18.
“We did well,” said head coach Armand Crespo. “We had some really good marks.”
The Mt. SAC Relays, the biggest track and field competition in the area, hosted the community college division a week earlier than the university invitational.
Marina Flores, a sophomore distance runner, ran a personal best time in the steeple chase, beating her previous time by 15 seconds, for the community college invitational.
Khaleel Muhammad also ran a personal best for the men’s’ open 400-meter hurdles. Coming in first for his heat at 54. 57, Muhammad placed third in the finals.
Taylor Matthews, a favorite for sprints, was disqualified after she false started in the women’s open 100-meter dash.
McElwee competed in the men’s 400-meter dash on April 17.
“Alex did great,” said Crespo. “He ran the second fastest time on Friday. He ran a little faster than his previous best.”
According to Crespo, the university invitational is usually not open to community college students.
“He’s the number one runner in the state,” said Crespo, explaining why McElwee was allowed to run at the university level. “Every year or so we get one in from PCC. It’s kind of a tradition because we’ve always had a top runner.
McElwee came in second for both his heat and the finals at 46.74. The mark is now the second fastest recorded time this year among national community college sprinters, trailing only Western Texas College’s Daniel Gyasi who leads at 46.30.
McElwee already leads the state in the 400, but he beat his previous time by .10 of a second.
“He started out a little conservatively, said Crespo. “He didn’t feel like he ran a perfect race. He felt like he could do better which is a good sign.”
The track and field team will be competing at the Southern California Finals this week at Cerritos College, Norwalk.
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