Siskiyous advances 8 in track and field

Steve Gerace

College of the Siskiyous placed third in both the men’s and women’s team standings in the GVC championships April 29 at Yuba College and qualified eight athletes for the Nor Cal trials.

Advancing to the championship season meets for the Eagles were:

• For the women’s team, Tina Ballue and Ashley Langi in the long jump and triple jump and Joanna Beem in steeplechase.

• For the men, Josh Peck qualified in shot put and discus, Ty Slater in discus and javelin, Nolan Sweet in javelin, and Chase Shirley in the 400 hurdles.

The championship season begins with the Nor Cal trials Friday, May 6 in Modesto.

The following week, the Nor Cal Championships are scheduled to be held at Shasta College in Redding. Siskiyous coach Shannon Maas said, “This is the first time since I have been around the Nor Cal Championships will be in Shasta – should be an absolutely awesome meet to watch!”

Mount Shasta High School graduate Joanna Beem, who easily won the GVC 3000m steeplechase championship in 12:38.68, has already qualified for the Championships in that event.

Dylan Weddle of Yreka placed third in the GVC pole vault at 3.71m and also qualified for the Championships.

Josh Peck won the men’s discus with a toss of 171’ 11,” just 5 inches off College of the Siskiyous’ 24 year old school record set by Bob Owens in 1987.  

“Peck is by far the hardest working, most dedicated and committed athlete I have seen on ANY level,”?said Maas. “If he can get things together academically, the sky is the limit for this young man.”  

Ty Slater won the GVC javelin with a toss of 58.30m, “a bit down from his personal best, but he was throwing into a cross wind so that is an exceptional mark considering the weather,”?Maas said.

Maas called Raj Singh of Yreka “the surprise athlete of the meet” for the Eagles. He placed second in the 1500m in 4:43.18. While “not the greatest time,” according to Maas, “with wind gusts up to 25 mph in his face, this is a great mark.  He is also one of the best kids I have been around in terms of personality; he was literally a ray of sunlight in an otherwise pretty bleak year.”

Lorenzo Elder of Mount Shasta also surprised the coach. He ran an 11.66 in the 100m, which didn’t place him or score the team any points, “but this being his first year in track and field, that is a great mark,”?said Maas. “He is slowly learning the sport, and I hope he sticks with it. If he puts everything together biomechanically and learns how to deal with the pain of track and field workouts, he could have a very promising future.  

Pole vaulter Weddle, Maas said, “hasn’t met his season best in quite awhile as he is having some pole issues, but he is starting to put it together.”

Overall, Maas said the Eagle throwers “really progressed and were the bedrock of the team this year.  We were a very young team, but all these kids stuck it out and held it together through the stretch. I am very excited to see what they can do next for us in the rings.”

 On the women’s side, Maas said Tina Ballue “has been progressing greatly, especially in the triple jump.   This being the first year she has ever tripled, we had no expectations, and when she jumped a 30’ 11” in her first meet, I was very surprised.”  

Ballue placed 2nd in the triple at the GVC meet at 35’ 2,” placing her in the top 10 in Northern California.  

Ashley Langi from South Medford has been battling knee issues,?Maas said, but she “toughed out a rigorous meet schedule and placed third in the triple with a 33’ 8” mark.”

Maas said Ballue and Langi both had to jump into head winds “and the weather was unusually cold for Yuba that time of year, so these are great marks heading into championship season.”

Langi placed 2nd in the GVC long jump with a 5.08m mark and Ballue was 3rd in the long jump at 4.95m.

Both qualified for the long and triple jump in the Nor Cal trials.

Beem continued her dominance in the steeple chase and won easily in Yuba. “Our game plan was for her to cruise since she would be running both the 800m and 4x400m, but her calf was tightening up so we pulled her from the other events,”?Maas said.

The competition level will go up significantly in the Nor Cal Championships steeplechase, Maas said.

Butte College placed first in the GVC Championships men’s team standings with 141 points, followed by Shasta (54.66), Siskiyous (36), Yuba (33.33), and Redwoods (13).

Shasta won the women’s team title with 145.5 points, followed by Butte (102.5), Siskiyous (43), Redwoods (7), Feather River (5), and Yuba (2).

Following is a list of College of the Siskiyous entries for the Nor Cal Trials, including rank, and qualifying time/distance:

• Freshman Josh Peck – #34 Discus, 50.72m; #40 Shot Put, 13.38m

• Chase Shirley – #24 400 Meter Hurdles, 58.05

• Ty Slater – #34 Discus, 43.20m; #38 Javelin, 61.62m

• Nolan Sweet – #38 Javelin, 54.78m

• Dylan Weddle – #28 Pole Vault start 3.89m, 4.11m

• Tina Ballue – #29 Long Jump, 4.97m; #31 Triple Jump, 10.72m

• Joanna Beem – #11 3000 Meter Steeplechase, 11:40.96

• Ashley Langi – #29 Long Jump, 5.12m; #31 Triple Jump, 11.06m