COSTA MESA -- Led by a pair of championship efforts in the hurdles events, the Orange Coast College men's track and field team finished second overall at the 2015 Orange Empire Conference Track and Field Championships, held at OCC (hosted by Golden West College).
The Pirates finished Friday's finals with a team score of 192 points. Riverside City College won the team title with 380 points, while Saddleback (124.50) finished third.
In the 110-meter hurdles, Pirate standout Justin Gibbons used a strong start in the finals to pull away from the field and captured the OEC title with a time of 15.13 seconds, nearly a half-second ahead of runner-up Matthew Kirkendall of Riverside City College (15.61).
Pirate teammate Bryson Crawford, who finished fifth in the 110 hurdles (16.05) showed off his stamina in the 400 hurdles and topped the pack with a winning time of 55.54. Kirkendall, who had the fastest time at last week's preliminaries (55.84), finished second with a time of 56.21.
Joining the hurdlers as OEC champions for the Pirates is pole vaulter Kyle Victoria, who won the event during last week's OEC preliminaries (some events were finals last week) with a winning jump of 14-feet, 10 inches.
In last week's 10,000-meter finals, it was a sea of orange and blue as five OCC runners cracked the top six with impressive times. Lucio Ramirez finished second with a time of 32:01.18, followed in order by teammates Brandon Ferguson (33:11.98), Jorge Jeronino (33:15.68), Daniel Jones (33:16.68) and Jesus Valdez (33:19.63).
Other top-three times for the Pirates in the finals included Gregory Warner in the 400 (2nd, 49.08), Ferguson in the 1,500 (2nd, 4:02.46) and , Ramirez in the 5,000 (2nd, 15:43.07), the 400-meter relay team of George Petsas, Kyle White, Terrance Chester and Gibbons (2nd, 42.65) and Eamon Smythe in the 800 (3rd, 1:58.63).
Up next for the Pirates is the 2015 Southern California Regionals, with preliminaries set for Saturday at Cerritos College, beginning at 10 a.m. The finals will be on Saturday, May 9, also at Cerritos at 10 a.m.