Fortugno Leads Leopards To Third-Place Finish
Led by a scintillating effort from junior sprinter Marcus Fortugno, the University of La Verne men's track & field team raced to a third-place finish at the SCIAC Championships Saturday in Claremont.
La Verne tallied 100 team points to finish behind champion Redlands (166.66) and runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (141) to place third for the second consecutive year.
Fortugno earned a double with victories in both the 200 and 400 meter races while also anchoring the Leopard 4 x 400 meter relay squad to a come-from-behind triumph to conclude action.
In the 400 meters, Fortugno dominated the field by setting a SCIAC meet record with a time of 46.55, slicing nearly a second off his personal best of 47.47 entering weekend competition. He returned to easily win the 200 meters in 21.50.
He may have saved his effort for the 4 x 400 as he ran an electrifying 45.64 relay split to anchor the Leopards to a SCIAC win in the mile relay. Together, the quartet of Fortugno, Chancise Watkins, Michael Sacoto and Kyle Quintero ran an NCAA provisional qualifying 3:16.31 clocking.
Leopard sophomore Paul Turner also completed a double-event win by securing first place in the triple jump with a winning leap of 49-1 3/4 to earn a sweep of the SCIAC long jump and triple jump events for the second consecutive year. Turner also ran a leg on La Verne's 4 x 100 meter relay team which finished second.
La Verne junior Marcus Denerson nabbed a second place finish in the javelin with a throw of 181-5 and received third-place efforts from junior Michael Sacoto in the 800 meters (1:54.43), freshman Jared Jones in the high jump (6-1 1/2) and Watkins in the 200 meters (22.13). Watkins also placed sixth in the 400 meters with a season best of 48.62.
Freshman Alex Forbess placed ninth overall in the 5000 meters but his time of 15:33.39 was good enough to established a La Verne school record.
The Leopards continue action next weekend as selected members of the squad take part in the Occidental Invitational on May 7.