Bakersfield, California – The 2018 California Community College State Track & Field Championships concluded a long season with two surprise Jaguar results from a pair of its newest members. Freshman's LaChelle Autry (Granite Hills High) competing in both the women's Long-Jump and Triple-Jump and from Joshua Godfrey (Bonita High) competing in the men's Decathlon.
LaChelle entered the meet as the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) women's triple jump champion and SoCal's bronze medalist. In her first event of the day, the long-jump, Autry struggled to find the board and produce the caliber of jumps she demonstrated earlier in the season. However, LaChelle's jump of 5.21m, while well short of her season's best, was good enough to place her 8th in the event. In Autry's second and best event, the triple-jump, LaChelle showed her pedigree and unleashed a superior jump that vaulted her all the way into a 4th place finish for the freshman.
Joshua Godfrey entered the State meet in what is considered the toughest and most grueling event of all the two day, ten event Decathlon. Joshua entered the meet with the state's seventh best season result and the runner-up place from the conference. Day 1 Decathlon – Event #1 started with the 100m where Joshua gave a hint of what was to come. Godfrey blazed a personal best 11.23 and turning in the 2nd best time of the day in the field of 12 athletes from across the state. Event #2 – Long Jump – Joshua leaped to a 6.34m jump, the third best of the group. At the conclusion of the event, Joshua was third in points out of the group of athletes. Event#3 – Shot Put – Joshua struggled only producing the 7th best throw of the group. However his toss of 9.61m was still good enough to keep Godfrey in 3rd at the conclusion of the event. Event #4 – High Jump – Joshua produced his second personal best of the day jumping 1.77m further securing his position with the leaders as he entered the final event of the day, Event #5 – 400m. The final event of the day demanded all his energy and skill. Joshua fought off the fatigue and pain of a reoccurring groin injury. Bravely he coursed the one lap race and turned in a respectable 52.50 for the sixth best time of the group and continued to hold his 3rd place slot at the conclusion of the day.
Day 2 – Decathlon. The day started with the #6 Event – 110m Hurdles and not 5'9" tall Joshua's favorite event. Godfrey cleared the ten 42" barriers cleanly and turned in his best time ever of 17.12 however, the field had closed the gap on only a few points separated places 3-6. Event #7 – Discus – a strong event for Godfrey and he showed the small crowd of 100 athletes, coaches and fans that he was vying for the podium. Joshua uncorked a beautiful 32.63m and widened his gap with the field. Event #8 – Polevault – Joshua knew he needed to turn in the best results of his life only to keep from falling too far out of the podium places as three athletes amongst the best vaulters in the state where in the field. With that in mind, Godfrey delivered producing his third personal record of the day and his fifth of the event. Josh jumped 3.80m while the top vaulters turned in only average results. As the points were tabulated, Joshua fell to 5th as expected but the point spread was not insurmountable with the next event being one of his strongest, the Javelin. Event #9 – Javelin – Joshua hurled the implement a mighty 46.96m. It was the second best throw of the day and only eclipsed by an athlete near the back of pack. Joshua's toss catapulted him into second place and a shot at winning the whole thing! Event #10 – 1,500m run – Joshua sitting in second was less than 150 points from the leader however was less than 50 points ahead of the 3rd place challenger. What worked out was in order to win and not let the third place person beat him, he would need to state within 6 seconds of the third place runner and would have to beat the current leader by 30 seconds to win it all. The plan worked to perfection. Joshua stayed on the shoulder of the 3rd place athlete as planned, while the leader fell to 10 seconds down at the end of the first of four laps, then 20 seconds by the second lap, then down to 35 seconds at the start of the final lap. Joshua stayed within 2 seconds of the 3rd place challenger. With the last lap beginning all was working as planned to have the Southwestern College freshman to steal the crown of the toughest event in track & field. However, in the final moments of the race, the leader found his second wind and cut into the lead. Joshua finished the grueling event only 2 seconds behind the third place runner securing his position over that athlete however, the leader found his feet and sprinted the last few meters of the race and finished 23 seconds behind Joshua's 4:49.96 securing his win.
Southwestern College's Joshua Godfrey faith was sealed finishing in a school record 6091 points and only 43 points from winning. Amazing!