Imperial paces truncated field at 64th-annual Desert Classic Relays

A pair of Central Union Spartans make the exchange during the running of the boys' distance medley at the Desert Classic Relays at Ed Ralston Field on Saturday. PHOTO AARON BODUS

EL CENTRO — Straining against the roil tide of sporting event cancellations that have accompanied the COVID-19 national health emergency, one of the Valley’s most venerable athletic traditions, the 64th annual Desert Classic Relays went off without any avoidable hitches at Central Union High School’s Ed Ralston Field here on Saturday, with the Imperial Tigers pacing a truncated field.

After a series of soggy, gunmetal gray days that were an aesthetic match for a grim national mood, the Relays unfolded against a robin’s-egg blue idyll, dotted with cumulus poofs and a not-too-mean sun, presenting as a reasonable facsimile of life absent contagion, with plenty of smiles, some enthusiastic cheering and loose observation of the Centers for Disease Control’s 6-feet spacing rule — a fat slice of normality a la mode.

Imperial paces truncated field at 64th-annual Desert Classic Relays

Willie Robinson Trophy recipients Eric Orozco and Viviana Espino pose after together after their gold medal runs in the 100 meter dash at the 64th Desert Classic Relays. PHOTO AARON BODUS

Imperial paces truncated field at 64th-annual Desert Classic Relays

Imperial's Cesar Castaneda gives max-effort as he careens towards the finish line in the boys' 4x100 meter relay at the Desert Classic on Saturday. Central's Michael Sullivan is hot on his heels. PHOTO AARON BODUS

Sports Editor Aaron Bodus can be reached at or 760-337-3434.

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