Daniel Viveros may look like a bruising beast, but he doesn’t play the part.
The Liberty junior has the look of a burly, mean-spirited brute with his large, 6-foot, 265-pound frame and his larger-than-life bushy hair flowing out of all sides.
Away from competition, Viveros is anything but, with a quiet demeanor and a workman-like mentality.
On Saturday at the 51st annual Arcadia Invitational, Viveros, usually understated in his emotions, was all smiles after winning the elite invitational boys shot put title with a throw of 61 feet, 7.75 inches.
“It’s a really big win,” Viveros said. “I was just happy to compete and take gold.”
It was Viveros’ second throw in the opening flight that put him over the rest of competition that included Ventura’s Carlos Aviles, who owns the top throw in the state.
Viveros came into the competition seeking a personal-best throw, but was still happy with the victory against the best competition in the state. His PR is 62-8.5.
“My goal was to get a big throw out early and hopefully cruise and get a PR,” Viveros said. “The PR didn’t happen, but I am happy to get that big throw early.”
Viveros turned around and set a PR in the boys discus at 178-11 and a fifth-place finish.
On the track, Stockdale senior Aaliyah Wilson came into Saturday with the top wind-legal times in the state in the girls 100 hurdles and the 100-meter sprint.
Wilson did not come away victorious in either race, but did set a PR in both.
The Washington-bound senior began with a fourth-place finish in the 100 hurdles in 13.81 seconds, besting her PR by .18 of a second.
In the 100, Wilson also came in fourth with a time of 11.69 seconds. Her previous PR was 11.71, set on March 31.
“Of course everyone wants to win, but I was just trying to get a better time,” Wilson said. “I was just running against the clock. I wasn’t worried about anyone else in the race. I am pretty happy with myself that I PR’d in both. Especially in the 100. I finally got an 11.6. Gosh, it took forever.
“It feels really good and I am just excited for the rest of the season. I can’t wait to see what I can do.”
Liberty freshman Faith Bender was the third Kern County athlete to medal in two events on Saturday night.
Bender matched her PR in the girls discus at 160-2, good for third place.
Later in the evening, Bender’s final shot put of 43-5.75 was good for seventh place.
Bender is the top freshman in the U.S. in both events.
“Going 160 (feet) was a really big throw,” Bender said. “I’m still shooting for 162.”
Bender, who already has the Central Section freshman record in the discus, is shooting for 162-11. That is the state record for freshman set in 1991 by Suzy Powell of Modesto-Downey.
“It’s almost there, I know it,” Bender said. “I’ve just got to take it one day at a time.”
Highland senior Moises Medrano took on a race that is not one he will run in his final high school postseason, but one that he will likely run at college over the next four years at Cal.
Medrano finished fourth in the boys mile in a time of 4:17.25. It was the second-best time in the field for California runners with two runners from Colorado taking the top two spots.
“Of course I am trying to get ready for the next level, but to win this would have been a pretty proud personal achievement,” Medrano said.
Medrano made a final kick heading into the last lap to take over third place, but fell back into fourth on the final straightaway.
“It is what it is. It was a weird race,” Medrano said. “I was having to move so much in the first three laps to get out of the box to fight for positioning. That got to me again. It’s been like that the last few races. I’ll be fine.”
Liberty senior Seth Krauss finished fourth in the boys high jump at 6-5. His PR is 6-11, and the winning mark on Saturday was 6-9 by Tyler Cronk out of Washington state.
Highland’s Syric Davis finished 18th in the boys invitational triple jump at 42-00 and Stockdale junior Marcus Mota finished 33rd in the invitational 3,200 in 9:38.36.
A highlight in the earlier events, Liberty’s girls 1,600 relay of Rebecca Vanderpoel, Riley Slayton, Reese Renz and Shelby Rogers ran the top mark in the Central Section in 3:55.76.