Last Friday, Ty Hernandez announced that his track and field career is continuing – after using his right hand to sign his Letter of Intent to Westmont College while in front of family, friends and his Cabrillo High coaches inside the gym foyer.

The following day, Hernandez delivered an impactful day at the always stacked Ventura Invitational – placing first in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.58 seconds while also collecting a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (16.22).

And the future Westmont Warrior headlines this week’s Zo’s Gold Mines.

Hernandez’s signature, followed by his stout day down in Ventura, is proof that the Lompoc Valley continues to remain a hotbed for track and field athletes. The area continues to carve out talent capable of giving Hancock College some added depth to athletes who could become future cornerstones for a four-year university’s track program.

Other gold mines:

Ayziah Simmons, Lompoc High girls track and field: Simmons claimed first in both jumping events the long jump (15-8) and the triple jump (34-1.75) at the Saturday Ventura Invitational.

Jovany Lucatero, Lompoc High boys track and field: The returning senior Lucatero threw to a first-place mark in the boys varsity shot put event down in Ventura, heaving his way to a mark of 50-6.

Osvaldo Espinoza, Cabrillo High boys track and field: The long distance runner raced his way to a first place finish of 4:41.38 at the Ventura Invitational.

Avenlea McGraw, Cabrillo High girls track and field: McGraw earned first in the pole vault competition at the Ventura Invitational, posting a mark of 9-3.

Darien Langley, St. Joseph boys track and field: The sprinter Langley took home the Monday Male Athlete of the Week honor at the Northern Santa Barbara County Round Table by putting out this kind of outing at the Atascadero Memorial Meet: First in the 100 meter (11.19), first in the 200 (22.39) and helped lead the Knights’ 4x100 relay team to a first-place mark (43.88).

Ryan Morgan, Lompoc High baseball: He took a brief time off from the baseball diamond last year to do track and field, but Morgan looked anything but rusty against Cabrillo on Friday: Pounding three hits in the 7-0 road victory.

Oscar Rojas, Lompoc High baseball: The Braves pitcher fanned 10 Cabrillo batters in the shutout victory at Don McIntyre Field on Friday. He also had an RBI.

Casey Munns, Cabrillo boys golf: Munns was the medalist against Lompoc last Monday on the La Purisima greens, shooting a 100 after playing all 18 holes in the Conquistadores’ 529-587 win.

Andrew Nielson, Santa Ynez boys volleyball: Nielson pounded 12 kills and finished with two service aces in the Thursday 3-0 sweep of Cabrillo.

Mackenzie Kestler, Righetti softball: Kestler pounded a home run, triple and double – and then allowed two runs in the victory over Nevada-based Lowry High 5-2 and then held Loomis Del Oro to zero points in the tied game at the Franklin Preseason Tournament.

Jake Steels, Righetti baseball: Steels cranked out three hits on three at-bats in the 6-1 Saturday win over Paso Robles, including smashing one triple.

Erin Jenkins, Northwest Nazarene University women’s basketball: Winning championships never gets old for the Cabrillo grad and two-time Lee Central Coast Newspapers Most Valuable Player Jenkins. The 2018 grad proudly took pictures with the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title trophy this weekend, as the Nighthawks secured the conference championship with a 18-2 conference record and 28-2 overall record. Jenkins averages 14.1 minutes per game and 5.3 points per game according to the school’s website.

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Lorenzo J. Reyna covers sports for Lee Central Coast Newspapers, particularly in the Lompoc Valley. He can be reached at lreyna@leecentralcoastnews.com