The La Quinta boys’ track and field team held off the Rajahs nearly as easily as their female counterparts, winning Thursday’s meet 80-47.
The Blackhawks (7-0, 6-0, Desert Valley League) cemented their position atop the DVL with the victory. They were led by Chris “Turbo” Rom-Toribio, who won three events — the 100 ( 11.21), 200 (22.31), and the long jump (20-31/2) — for the Blackhawks.
David Luna won two events — the 1,600 (4:27.69) and 800 (1:58.34) — and Omar Valenzuela also was a multi-event winner with victories in the shot put (45-4) and the discus (147-1).
“It was a better meet than I expected, I wasn’t expecting to do that well in the 200. I just pushed it more than I did in the other meets because it was an important meet,” said Rom-Toribio, who is a sophomore. “In the 100, Galen Swearingen (of La Quinta) was pretty close to me. We were .01 seconds off from each other.”
Despite the 100 being determined by the closest of margins, Rom-Toribio said it barely registered with him.
“To be honest, I don’t really think about anything when I’m running — before the blocks it’s all anxiety, and once the gun goes off it’s blank, just running,” Rom-Toribio said. “Probably like the last 10 meters I heard his footsteps and I’m like, ‘Oh God, I have to speed it up a little bit,’ but that’s pretty much it.”
The Blackhawks will likely be a force for some time as their sophomore class is the strongest on the team.
“I’m really young on the boys (team). My main core of sprinters and hurdlers were freshmen last year and took their lumps, and this year they’re still my No. 1 guys and they put together a pretty fantastic season,” La Quinta head coach Brian Ansley said. “I was very impressed with both Galen (Swearingen) and Turbo (Rom-Toribio), they’ve been great.”
The team travels to Palm Desert on Thursday for a 3:15 p.m. meet, but will be sending several athletes to Mt. San Antonio College today to begin competition at 6:30 p.m.
Indio (2-3 DVL) travels to Coachella Valley at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.