As he requested volunteers for the relays, Tony Veney knew he was asking his athletes to compete in their fifth or sixth events of a hot, sunny Friday afternoon.
When the fatigued responded in droves, the first-year Ventura College track and field head coach knew the Pirates could complete a memorable double win last week at the Ventura College Sportsplex.
"Pride," said Veney. "That had a lot to do with how the meet went. Not giving an inch."
Jordan Paea won the discus (145 feet) and finished second in the shot put (47.1 feet), Derrell Brooks won the high jump (6.3 feet) and finished second in the long jump (22.3 feet) and Tirrell Brooks won the long jump (23.1 feet) and finished second in the 200 meters (22.47 seconds) as the Ventura College men's track and field team won the six-school Western State Conference meet with 198.5 points, edging Canyons (184), Cuesta (135) and traditional power Moorpark (107.5).
"We were going up against programs that have traditionally beaten us," said Veney. "They not only showed up, but they showed up strong."
Brianna Panapa swept all four throwing events -- the shot put (34.6 feet), discus (105.2 feet), javelin (119.4 feet) and hammer (103.6 feet) -- and Raquel Ormsby finished first or second in five different events as the Ventura College women's track and field team won the six-school meet with 156 points, edging Canyons (146), Moorpark (139.5) and Cuesta (103).
"For us to win that meet on the women's side with 10 scoring is a testament to how much those women have bought into what I want from them," said Veney.
Ormsby, a Ventura High product, won the 100-meter hurdles (15.41 seconds) and 400-meter hurdles (1:07.93), finished second in the 200 meters (26.99) and 400 meters (59.31) and was part of the team that finished second in the 4-x-100 meter relay.
Panapa, a St. Bonaventure High product, lifted her team with a dominant individual performance.
"It was a great job by her," said Ventura throws coach Tom Lawrence. "Since we're kind of short of numbers as a women's team, placing first in all four events was exactly what we needed."
Other notable performers included Michaela Colvin, who finished second in the long jump (16.6 feet), Shara Longbotham, who finished second in the high jump (4.9 feet) and Mayra Sahagun, who ran for her second personal record in five races in finishing third in the 800 meters (2:27.35).
For the men, Andy Petree won the triple jump (41.3 feet) and decathlete Teddy Elsenbaumer added a second-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles (55.91), an event he has yet to practice, to his second-place finish in the high jump (6.3 feet).
"He just jumps in the race," said Veney, who also singled out distance runners Justin Booth-Ortega, Luis Guevara and Marc Martinez for grinding out 15 points in their events.
"Those guys really stepped forward."
Lawrence called the meet the "biggest combined team win" in his 13 years with the Pirates, who are certainly developing under Veney, the former Portland State head coach and UCLA and Oregon assistant.
"He's tried to change a culture here," said Lawrence. "When people take over programs it usually doesn't happen overnight, but it's been pretty quick for Tony. A lot of the credit goes to him. He's the type of guys that always has his results."
Ventura will send 14 men and five women to the Mount San Antonio College relays this weekend.
Veney, who has studied the program's history, made a phone call to former Ventura coach Tuck Mason after the meet.
"That's part of the legacy here," said Veney. He was excited that I called and I was excited to be able to call."