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Canyons Track & Field Concludes Season at CCCAA State Championships

Canyons Track & Field Concludes Season at CCCAA State Championships

The College of the Canyons track & field program sent 11 student-athletes to last weekend's California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship held May 15-16 in San Mateo, as the Cougars returned home with an individual state championship and several new school records.

COC freshman Ethan Walker concluded his first year as a COC student-athlete by winning a State Championship in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

Walker took the lead on the final backstretch of the event, which included seven and a half laps studded with 28 hurdles and seven water jumps. After successfully navigating those obstacles Walker had finished with a winning time of 9:16.32 – good for tops in the state this season.

His time was also the third fastest in the nation by a community college athlete this season. As a result, he has been named a JC All-American in that event.

But Walker's state title in the steeplechase was just his top accomplishment of the weekend. On Friday the Saugus High School product also placed second in the 10,000 meter with a time of 31:23.75, earning a second JC All-American honor in the process.

The following day, after winning the steeplechase in the morning, he came back that afternoon to finish third in the 5,000 meter event at a pace of 15:01.44, while picking up a third JC All-American award.

"It takes a very special athlete to triple in the distances races at an event like the State Championships," said COC track & field head coach Lindie Kane.

"Ethan is on of the best track & field athletes to compete for College of the Canyons. He has a tremendous work ethic, the passion to compete and the drive to win. Those qualities are hard to beat," added Kane.

Earlier this month Walker also won CCCAA SoCal Championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase and 10,000 meter events.

Prior to that he ran to Western State Conference championships in the 10,000 meter and 800 meter events — while finishing second in both the 1,500 meter and 5,000 meter competitions.

Walker also placed 16th at the CCCAA Cross Country State Championships last fall, which helped Canyons win its first state title since 1975.

Walker's 2015 individual state title is the sixth in COC track & field program history, and the fourth won under head coach Lindie Kane.

COC freshman Mikala Fairchild was the top finisher on the women's side after taking second place in the 1,500 meter (4:37.15) and third in 5,000 meter (17:52.61) — while setting a new school record in the latter event.

Fairchild was also named a JC All-American in both events.

Also earning All-American status was freshman Samiyah Hawkins whose mark of 40.97 meters in the discus was also a new COC record.

Freshman Amanda De Jesus placed seventh in women's 3,000 meter steeplechase with a school record time 11:47.56.

Meanwhile, sophomore Dominique Dowell capped her Cougar career with a ninth place finish and school record time of 39:12.48 in the 10,000 meter event.

Freshman Jada Selexman placed seventh in the heptathlon with a combined score of 3,672.

Selexman was also a member of the college's ninth place 4x400 meter relay team that included Tisian Nealy, Zakora Merriweather and Ariana Cooper.

Merriweather also finished 10th in the high jump at 1.46 meters.

As a team, the women's program placed 11th at the state meet.

On the men's side freshman Ashton Garcia finished his season by placing eighth in the 1,500 meter at 4:00.38.

Sophomore Rodrigo Ornelas placed 12th in the 10,000 meter event at 34:32.42.

The men's team finished 12th at the event.

The end of the COC track & field schedule officially concludes competition for the college's 2014-15 sports season.

"The state meet was a great end to a record-breaking season for the Cougars," said Kane.