Twilight Produces Fast Times for Panthers

Esteban Deniz (fourth from left) and Moises Benito (far right) with the lead pack at the Chabot Twilight 5000m .
Esteban Deniz (fourth from left) and Moises Benito (far right) with the lead pack at the Chabot Twilight 5000m .

In the second edition of the Chabot Twilight, a unique event that allows cross country runners to run 3000m or 5000m on the track during the fall season, the Hartnell College men's squad produced four new all-time list marks. The Panthes also faced off head-to-head on the track with American River College, host and Coast Conference foe Chabot College, along with squads from Santa Rosa Junior College, College of San Mateo, Merritt College, and College of the Sequoias. 

Esteban Deniz, a sophomore from King City, lead all Panthers with a third place finish in a new personal best 14:42.40. Cristian Martinez of American River College, the top runner in Northern California, won in 14:34.81. Muhammed Ahmed of Chabot was second in 14:39.81. Deniz moves to fourth best all-time in Hartnell history. He now only trails state cross country champion Diego Leon (14:26), state cross country runner-up Isaac Gensel (14:37), and state cross country champion Daniel Tapia (14:39). Fellow King City High School graduate Ricky Diaz III also lowered his lifetime best. He was timed in 14:54.22 and fourth among all community college runners. Freshman Moises Benito debuted over the collegiate distance in 15:07.37 as he eyes the 14:40.00 Under 20 USA Championship qualifying mark. Sophomore Jose Velazquez disregarded a sinus infection to still run a lifetime personal best of 15:13.81. He had a previous best of 15:26.00 run at last spring's Northern California Championship. Also running in the fast heat was Daniel Pantoja (15:41.91), Jesse Blanco (15:51.31) and Joshua Riley (15:55.49). 

In the second heat of the 5000m, freshman Emiliano Ramirez lead a trio of Panthers. Ramirez, who starred at 800 meters last spring for Alisal High School, showed he could run beyond the two lap distance with a 16:18.48. Fellow freshmen Liam Pattison (16:31.40) and Kaimana Cantere (16:37.00) also debuted well. 

Sophomore Brandon Escalante ran in the third heat of the 5000m and secured a lifetime best 17:37.74 in advance of his final spring track season. 

An accompanying 3000 meters was run with Leonardo Diaz the highest placing Panther with his 10:20.19. He was followed by Axel Sanchez (10:24.15) and Matthew Santos (10:30.77). 

The Panthers will compete next at the Manny Bautista Invitational hosted by San Diego Mesa College on Friday, October 7. 

Men's 5000m "A" Heat
14:42.40  Esteban Deniz
14:54.22  Ricky Diaz III
15:07.37  Moises Benito
15:13.81  Jose Velazquez
15:41.91  Daniel Pantoja
15:51.30  Jesse Blanco
15:55.49  Joshua Riley

Men's 5000m "B" Heat
16:18.48  Emiliano Ramirez
16:31.40  Liam Pattison
16:37.00  Kaimana Cantere

Men's 5000m "C" Heat
17:37.74  Brandon Escalante

Men's 3000m Heat
10:20.10  Leonardo Diaz
10:24.15  Axel Sanchez
10:30.77  Matthew Santos
10:36.66  Arturo Melgoza
10:42.09  Diego Villegas
10:43.82  Ryan Willson
11:05.90  David Parmley
11:15.46  Fernando Moya
11:17.04  Richard Cimientos
13:58.26  Edwin Tovar