Ventura Track and Field Athletes Nationally Ranked


Junior Derek Pekar is ranked 2nd in the nation in the decathlon. Photo By: Summer Yovanno

Summer Yovanno and Hailey Cox

Of the close to 200 students participating in the Ventura High School track and field program, two stand out in particular: Juniors Derek Pekar and Carlos Aviles.

Junior Derek Pekar has been doing track since first grade; that’s 11 years now. His mom ran track and pushed him into doing it, too.

Pekar is now ranked 2nd in the nation for the decathlon. In a decathlon, the athlete completes ten events in two days. Pekar said, “It feels good to be number two but not as good as first, so I need to do better next time I do a decathlon.”

The next time Pekar will compete in a decathlon will be in June, in North Carolina. He will be competing in the New Balance National Championship.

Pekar’s best single events are high jump, pole vault, long jump, and 110 hurdles. His personal records for these events are 6’06”, 14’03”, 22’09” and 14.96 seconds.

As far as his plans after high school, Pekar he has a few colleges interested in having him on their track and field team, but he said, “I’m planning on looking at colleges after this season and during this summer though because I want to focus on this year and not get distracted.”

Junior Carlos Aviles is also competing in the New Balance National Championship.

Aviles has been a track athlete since freshman year; he is currently in his third year but plans on continuing his track career in college. Aviles also plans to pick up the hammer in college – the hammer is a 16 pound ball attached to a metal wire.

According to Aviles, track Coach Kory Anderson encourages athlete to test their potential in track and field all the time: “Coach Anderson just said to come out and try it, and so I did. Then when I met the three seniors Angel, Jorge, and Charlie, they really showed me and took me under their wing and I grew from there.”

Aviles is 2nd in the nation for the discus throw and 3rd in the nation for shot put. His best record for discus throw is 194’1”, and his best record for shot put is 63’5.5”.

When asked if he knew what college he wanted to go to, Aviles replied, “Not exactly but I’ve been looking at the SEC schools like Alabama… ASU, and USC from the Pac-12.” He added, “There are a lot of potential schools, but nothing can be offered until senior year.”

Aviles added, “Track has offered me a lot of things. A lot of things to learn from, and things that I can teach.”