May 27, 2017
The Diablo Valley College track and field teams showed the state last weekend that the Vikings are definitely a power in the sport.
Strangenae Campbell won both the women’s 100 and 200 meters at the CCCAA state championships at American River College. Antwuin Prowes claimed the men’s 800 title, as the DVC men placed fourth as a team with a score of 45.
Campbell defended her 100 convincingly, winning by a huge .43 of a second with a time of 11.50. In the 200, Campbell beat favorite Melani Rodney of Sequoias with an excellent time of 23.65.
In the 100, Campbell got a good start which helped her win a back-to-back title.
“She executed really well in the beginning of the race,” DVC coach Kyle Whitmore said. “We know when that happens, the rest of the field is in trouble.”
In the 200, Campbell and Whitmore changed her strategy.
“We threw out the traditional 200 race model. I told her to ‘just run’,” Whitmore said. “I knew that her championship pedigree will take over.”
Campbell held off Rodney by .06 to win the 200 title. Nationally, Campbell finished with the second-best time in the 200 (23.50) and the third-fastest time in the 100 (11.34), according to Whitmore.
In the men’s 800, Prowes had some unfinished business. In 2015, he placed second in the state by .01 in a photo finish.
“I went in thinking I was going to lose a photo finish again,” Prowes said. “I ran with a lot of heart.”
There was no photo finish in the men’s 800 at this year’s state championships.
Prowes tucked in behind the leaders initially and was second at the 400-meter mark with a split of 55.20.
“I was just pacing myself behind the first runners and I just kicked it in at the end,” Prowes said.
He took the lead with approximately 100 meters left in the race and won with a time of 1:52.53, .41 ahead of the second-place finisher. Teammate Geoffrey Weseman placed fifth in 1:54.12.
“I just ran it as hard as I could,” said Prowes about the last 100 meters of the race. “In the last 50 meters, I looked back and I thought I was ok.”
Prowes’ best 800 time this season of 1:52.03 ranked fourth in the nation, and his best 400 time of 46.59 was seventh in the nation, according to Whitmore.
The top four finishers in each event qualified for CCCAA All-American status, Whitmore said.
In the men’s shot put, Corey Gilbert placed second with a big personal-record mark of 16.63 meters (54 feet, 6 3/4 inches). That mark led until the final round, Whitmore said. Gilbert, a sophomore, also placed seventh in the discus (45.14 meters, 148-1).
The Diablo Valley men’s 1,600 relay team also placed second. The squad of Jzelun Johnson, Prowes, Jalen Evers-Threatt and Jerrick Bernstine produced a school-record time of 3:12.84.
The DVC men’s 400 relay team of Nigel Burnett, Prowes, Nathan Noble and Lionel White placed third with a season-best time of 40.76. The order of the runners changed from previous meets with the UC Davis-bound Burnett, who placed seventh in the open 100 (10.89), moving to leadoff and the UC Riverside-bound Noble becoming the third leg.
“We were well-rounded enough to take that kind of a risk,” Whitmore said. “Nathan is so versatile. Nathan can run any leg.”
In the women’s 10,000, freshman Christine Bayliss placed fourth with a time of 38:45.36. Whitmore said that Bayliss broke away from the pack she was in during the last half mile of the race. “I’m really confident in her closing speed,” said Whitmore about Bayliss, who will be attending UC Davis next school year.
Jack Pickard placed fourth in the men’s javelin with a mark of 51.25 meters (168-1 3/4). “He competed with nothing to lose, and it paid off,” Whitmore said.
The DVC women’s 400 relay team of Jessica Johnson, Janeva Vance, Jordan Hinds and Tashayla Gilmer placed sixth with a time of 48.67.
Whitmore is very pleased with his athletes’ performances this season.
“This team this year has just been amazing to be around,” he said. “Some of the PR’s not on the state level were equally as special.”
Phil Jensen, special to DVC athletics