Local athletes contribute to strong season for American River College's women's track and field team

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The women’s track and field team at American River College recently finished an outstanding season, thanks in part to some Folsom and El Dorado Hills residents. The Beavers finished third at last month’s Community College State Championship Meet and one of their two state champions is from the area. Jenna Yowell, a 2009 Oak Ridge graduate, won the pole vault state title with a vault of 10 feet, 11 inches, despite battling winds of 35 miles per hour. Yowell, who’s the school record holder in the event, also won the Northern California and Big 8 Conference Championship pole vault titles with jumps of 11’4” and 10’9”, respectively. Folsom High 2009 graduates, Sarah Hockensmith and Courtney Anderson, also added to the Beavers’ strong season. Hockensmith specializes in the heptathlon, which are the 200- and 800-meter runs, the 100 hurdles, the high jump and long jump, javelin and shot put rolled into one event. Hockensmith also competes in the pole vault. Hockensmith placed eighth in the state in the heptathlon, scoring 3,871 points. Her points came from the following times and distances: 200 (27.11), 800 (2:44), 100 hurdles (16.48), high jump (5’1”), shot put (28’), javelin (85’ 6”), and long jump (16’3”). Hockensmith placed sixth in the Northern California Championships with 3,662 points and made the school’s top-10 all-time list in the event. At the conference championships, Hockensmith placed third in the pole vault (9’5”), sixth in the triple jump (33’ 1/3”) and seventh in the 100 hurdles (16.48). “Sarah’s spread thin with the heptathlon, but she had an amazing season for all that she’s done,” American River Coach Jeanette Powless said. At the state meet, Anderson placed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 12:19 and finished eighth in the 800 in 2:35. Anderson also won the NorCal and conference titles in the 3,000 steeple. At the Big 8 Conference Championships, Anderson was voted the track Athlete of the Meet, scoring 30 points by winning the 3K steeple (12:23) and 800 (2:20). She also placed third in the 5K (19:49) and fifth in the 10K (42:51). “The best part about all three girls is they’re freshmen and will be back next year,” Powless said. “All three are already being sought after by four-year colleges. We had six ladies offered scholarships this year and that’s really nice.” Prior to placing third in the state championships, American River won the Nor-Cal and Big 8 Conference titles.