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2017-2018 Track & Field Team

June 1, 2018

Final 2018 season notes from Coach Brock Drazen
At the Northern California Championship (final 9 in laned races and final 12 in others) on Friday May 11, 2018 at Sacramento City College,  Monica Paredes (1500m) fought hard and finished 6th, Maiya Hutchinson (800m) battled to a 4th place finish, Daniel Bessolo (400m) finished 6th in the North, Marco Echeandia (400 hurdles) was 8th, Paul Beverly (shot put) threw for 12th place, Braffer Morris (100m) came in 5th place at 10.67.  We had an unfortunate medical emergency and had to scratch out of the 4x400m relay but overall Merritt represented well and will bring back a strong core for the 2018-2019 school year.  A long streak of appearances at the state championship came to an end but as with all endings, the door is wide open now for a new beginning!!  With recruiting in full swing, 2018-2019 will be an exciting year.


May 6, 2018

Notes from Coach Brock Drazen
Merritt fared well at the Northern California Championship Trials (top 24) on Friday at Sacramento City College with all 8 students advancing to the championship finals this coming Friday back at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium beginning at 6pm.  The finals features the final 9 NorCal athletes in each event (final 12 in throws, jumps and distance events).  The top 4 finishers in each event go to the state championship in Bakersfield the following week.  

Monica Paredes (1500m), Maiya Hutchinson (800m), Daniel Bessolo (400m, 1600m relay), Marco Echeandia (400 hurdles, 1600m relay), Paul Beverly (shot put), Braffer Morris (100m, 200m), Phillipe Fiankan (1600m relay) and Malik Gresham (1600m Relay) all advanced.  I’m not going to jinx us if I say we have an 11 year in a row streak of appearances at the state meet on the line.  It’s going to be tough.  Here’s to a little drama next week!  Go T-Birds.  Brock
Marco Echeandia advanced to the NorCal Championship finals in this 400 meter hurdle race posting a 54.89 after several weeks layoff with a tweaked hamstring.

May 1, 2018

Notes from Coach Brock Drazen
Merritt Track and Field student-athletes had a number of successes at our conference championship this past weekend in Fresno.  Daniel Bessolo became conference champion in the 400m after overcoming a mid-season hamstring injury that has sidelined him for a few weeks (Video below).  Braffer Morris took home the bronze medal in the 100m and 200m.  On the women’s side, Maiya Hutchinson won bronze in the 800m while Monica Paredes was 5th in the 1500m.  In throws, Paul Beverly was 2nd in the shot put while Aleeshia Graves won 3rd place in the javelin throw (Video below).  Chris Miller grabbed 6th in the discus (Video below).  Next up is the Northern California Championships where the top 24 athletes in each event compete for the final 9 spots in NorCal.  Merritt will bring 8 students to the competition on Friday at Sacramento City College.Also, attached is the EOPS April calendar pic.  You might notice Merritt’s Asa Allen on top of the medal stand now at UC Irvine or Merritt’s Joshua Holman in silver position now at Cal Berkeley but the third place finisher in that picture is Quincy Hall of Sequoias.  He is having an incredible sophomore season and looks like he will be an olympian sooner rather than later.  Quincy currently holds the world’s 3rd fastest time in the 400m this year and won the Pan-American games this past summer in the 400 hurdles.  Quincy is a very humble and extremely talented guy and a great representative of our community college system.  I just wanted to alert you, as April ends, that perhaps you should save the calendar!
Paul Beverly took 2nd place in Shot Put while Aleeshia Graves grabbed bronze in the javelin. Chris Miller, meanwhile finished 6th in the discus. Here are a f…
Freshman Daniel Bessolo wins the BVC/CVC Conference Championship in Fresno in 48.88. Next up–Northern California Championships.


March 23, 2018

Notes from Coach Brock Drazen
Coach Brock Drazen reports that on March 23 Merritt hosted a youth community track meet sponsored by Oakland PAL (Police Athletic League).  Margaret Dixon has worked tirelessly as director of the program for decades and our partnership dates back to 2006-2007 when PAL returned its program to Merritt. It was a great day and the video below highlights a typical weekend day on Merritt’s athletic facilities including youth basketball and soccer. Shout out to President Burns for spending time at the track with the kids! A Saturday in March at MerrittFor our team, we have been out and about, competing hard and successfully.  I’ll just leave it at that for now.  Our conference championship is today at Fresno.  Have a great weekend! Braffer Morris 100m 100m 200m Paredes 1500m Fiankan 400m Hutchinson 800m Echeandia 400h
March 12, 2018

Notes from Coach Brock Drazen
Here’s a quick update and a few videos from this past weekend.  Our meet last weekend in Sacramento was cancelled due to weather, but we did compete Friday and Saturday at College of San Mateo and UC Davis.  The guys 4x400m Relay posted a great early season time (3:21.90) and sits 2nd in Northern California (NorCal).  Daniel Bessolo is 2nd in NorCal in the 400m at 48.69.  Marco Echeandia is 4th in NorCal in the 400h after a personal best 55.75 in the 400 hurdles.  I will give some more stats next week after the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational on this coming Sat., March 17.


Feb. 26, 2018

Notes from Coach Brock Drazen: Last year team updates, this year’s team, highlights and videos from 2/23 Modesto meet

Update on Transfer/Grads

We had a great transfer/grad class from last year’s team sending 9 students off to 4 year universities.  They are listed below with a few links to their roster pics on their new university teams.

  1. Asa Allen-UC Irvine (AA in Social and Behavioral Science)
  2. Brandon Aninipot-Texas Southern University (AA in Social and Behavioral Science)
  3. Karina Duarte-UCLA (Transfer)
  4. Joshua Hall-UC Berkeley (Transfer)
  5. Joshua Holman-UC Berkeley (Transfer)
  6. Kailen Lewis–CSU Eastbay (AA in Social and Behavioral Science)
  7. John McDonald–Southeast Missouri State (AA in Social and Behavioral Science)
  8. Kristopher Ordonez-Jones–San Jose State University (AA in Social and Behavioral Science)
  9. Monica Zuranich-Holy Names University (Transfer)

February 12, 2018
This year’s team is on the young side with many freshman coming on board.  Nonetheless our meet this past weekend was at Modesto Junior College where it was rather cold and windy but our effort was hot! Here are some videos:
Braffer Morris opened his college career with a successful race out of lane 9 at the Jack Albiani Invitational at Modesto Junior College. Check back after tw…
Daniel Bessolo took home the early season win during a cold and windy Jack Albiani Invitational meet at Modesto Junior College.  Marco
Marco Echeandia ran his first college 400 hurdles race successfully winning his heat at Modesto Junior College Jack Albiani Invitational.



2016-2017 Track & Field Team







The 2015-16 Track & Field Team Takes Off!

Small Trac Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.59.41 AM

Track news and highlights from Coach Brock Drazen

Check out the video highlights below  from our meet at De Anza last Saturday. Merritt’s 4x100m relay started the day off on the right note with a victory.  The team of Melvin Brown (Emery HS), Elijah Harper (Oakland Tech), Asa Allen (Berkeley HS) and Benny Lokula (Livermore HS) worked well together.

Sophomores Brown and Lokula will graduate in May and are reviewing several transfer opportunities.  Sophomore Allie Arsiniega, a transplant from South Carolina, ran a personal best 4:58 in the 1500m.  The last lap of the race (linked below) is especially impressive as she pulls away for the victory.  Like the sophomore guys, Allie completed her applications this past fall and already has offers on the table for transfer.  She ranks 4h in Northern California after her race performance.

Sophomore Tyler Daugherty (Chicago area native) ran a blazing 800m race and sits 2nd in NorCal.  Tyler will graduate in May and is another student prepared for transfer.

Our 4x400m relay took home an exciting win holding off a hard charging Menlo College team.  The team of Asa Allen, John McDonald (Lincoln HS of Stockton), Elijah Harper and Tyler Daugherty once again displayed teamwork and coordination in their victory.  The relay is currently 3rd in NorCal behind American River College and Sequoias.

Ray’Ven Sanders (Oakland Tech) was solid in the 100 hurdles and moved to 3rd in NorCal wither her 15.26 clocking.  She also won the high jump event and is sitting at #5 in NorCal in that event with a jump of 5 feet and a 1/2 inch.

Lastly, freshman Clem DeGiovanni (Berkeley HS), was solid in the high jump and took his first competitive steps in the triple jump.  4x100m Relay (Brown/Harper/Allen/Lokula)  Allie Arsiniega 1500m and Blake Brown Triple Jump  Tyler Daugherty 800m 4x400m relay Allen/Mcdonald/Harper/Daugherty  Ray’Ven Sanders 100 hurdles  Clem DeGiovanni TJ/HJ


The 2014-15 Track & Field Team is Off and Running!

Track Team 2015 Spring

The 2014-15 track team started with a bang this season as up and coming runners are making great strides, reports Coach Brock Drazen about a recent meet and includes videos (with music!)  below.  “We had a nice weather weekend for track and a few of our Merritt students shined at UC Davis. Adeeb Nasir set an early season personal best sprinting the 100m in 10.73 posting the fastest time of the day in that event. This puts Adeeb 6th in Northern California and in the hunt for a spot at the state championship. Tyler Daugherty posted a 4:09 in the 1500m to take the win in an exciting finish–if you don’t like long races advance the race to the last lap.  Adeeb  100m  Tyler 1500m

The week before, Kaori Nguyen won the 100m at American River College  Kaori Nguyen 100m

Go out and catch a meet and watch for the next superstars – click here for the schedule!


Congratulations on the Success of the 2013-14 Track & Field Team
(and to Coach Drazen)!



Track and Field State Championship 
Highlighted by Kemarley Brown’s World Record (See Video!)



As Coach Brock Drazen reports, the Merritt College Track and Field team had an eventful state championship this past weekend highlighted by Kemarley Brown’s world leading, national community college record 9.93 seconds wind legal time in the 100m race.  Kemarley (pictured above) came back an hour later with a win in the 200m (wind aided 20.29) and was named male athlete of the meet when all was said and done.

Sometime about 12 hours later, American sprinter Justin Gatlin won a Diamond League 100m race in Shanghai in 9.92 to claim the world lead not before the television crew spoke about Kemarley and his feat from a day earlier.  While big news for our program, school, district and in the USA, this is a HUGE story in Jamaica where you may know that track and field is a national past time.  Kemarley will return to Jamaica and will participate in his country’s national championship.  He has been invited just this morning by Nike to compete in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR (Track Town USA) in less than two weeks and has been getting nonstop contacts from people around the world.  This has been a thrilling ride for all of us and know that our students have handled the focus with great pride, humility and with abundant pleasure.  Kemarley’s growth and maturity, physically and mentally has been visible in these past two years and I can assure you that the foundation of his success is a built on the many contributions small and large, subtle and obvious of so many people working at Peralta and at Merritt.

Tony Parnell also came up big with a 4th place finish in 10.43, an impressive performance from a hard working, determined guy who trained consistently always with an eye on reaching his maximum potential.  By finishing in the top 4, Tony becomes a community college All-American.  All 4 members of our 4x100m relay, Parnell, Brown, Tom Jacobs and Rajee Orr were also named All-American after finishing 2nd in the relay at state.  It was momentarily disappointing for all of us as we had fended off all community college challengers all season long until this final race (including besting Mt. Sac twice during the season).  Nonetheless, we set a season best mark in the race (40.22) and could only congratulate Mt. Sac  on achieving their season best mark (40.09) to win the title.  I still have to post the 200m race but below are two versions of the 100m and the relay.  Overall, Merritt finished 6th at the meet behind two Norcal teams (American River and Sequoias) and three Socal teams (Riverside, Cerritos and Mt. Sac).  Defeating the likes of SF City again and realizing that neither Chabot nor DVC had anyone make the state championship is a feather in our recruiting cap–and it’s that time of year.

Eight members of the track team are  are graduating this year:  Tony Parnell, Leo Theus III, Tamba Smith, Aliyah Wilkins, Rajee Orr, Kemarley Brown, Gary Moore and Tom Jacobs (Fall ’14).  This will make 32 transferring graduates since 2010 and thanks to our new website, I will be documenting the successes of our track/XC alumni over the next month on our alumni page.

Congratulations to all!  100m Championship 4 minute version  100m Championship 1 minute version  4x100m relay


Track Team Going to Finals! See Videos from Championship Trials

Track photo best copy

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Coach Brock Drazen proudly reports (and includes videos!): Our Northern California Championship Trials (top 24) were held this past Friday and several of our student-athletes have made it through to the finals this coming Saturday at De Anza beginning at 2PM.  The finals will include the top 9 from the north in track events with the top 4 advancing to the state championship (Southern California fills in the other 4 spots with 1 final spot determined based on the better remaining time between the north and south).  In field events, the top 6 advance to state.

Our 4x100m relay (currently top time in the state) advanced with a win in the first of two heats. In the 100m, Kemarley Brown showed how effective team work can be in what appears to be an individual event.  Kemarley advanced with the fastest time among three heats but he also paced the race for Rajee Orr who happened to be in the lane right next to Kemarley.  Rajee’s 10.51 was 2nd fastest of the day and a personal best.  Tony Parnell also set a personal best with a heat win in 10.63 giving Merritt 3 spots in the final.

In the 200m, Kemarley Brown and Rajee Orr both advanced while Steven Gissentanner moved on in the triple jump and high jump.


Happy New Year!

We had a great 2012-13 season (see highlights below) and are looking forward to the new year. Our season schedule and roster is linked on the left. Our first meet of the season is February 22, 2014 at Cal Berkeley.

Please check out the video below of the transformation of Merritt’s track. It was resurfaced by Beynon Sports from October 23, 2013 to Dec.13, 2013, changing it from a beat up, hardened and crumbled Mondo track surface to a polyurethane granular track. The new track will make its public debut on April 12, 2014 at our first home meet since 2011.

Highlights of 2012-13 Season

Click here to view Merritt Track and Field’s YouTube Channel

Kemarley Brown took home the California Community College State Championship title on Saturday, May 18, 2013  Kemarley Brown wins Norcal 100m Championship  Kemarley Brown wins State Championship May 18, 2013 Kemarley also doubled in the 100 and 200m earlier this season at the Stanford Invitational winning against competitors from universities all over the country. 100m at Stanford.

Rajee Orr took home the 200m Northern California Title in 21.28.  He will seek a state championship on Saturday May 18, 2013 at the California State Championship at the College of San Mateo.  Below is a link to his Northern California championship.  Rajee Orr Wins 200m at Norcal Championship

Rajee also Came in 6th in the 100m and 3rd in the 200m at the State Championship. Rajee at State 200m

Tamba Smith has had a solid first season ever running the hurdles taking home the gold in the 400 hurdles and silver in the 100 hurdles.  Tamba Smith 100 hurdles at Sacramento City College Big 8 Championship

Congrats to the following team members who graduated on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 4:30pm at Merritt College: John Barker, Javhan Cosby, Andrew Hunte, Thomas Rudenko, Maxamillian Thomas and Maria Scognamiglio