Seniors Monopolize Track And Field Weekly Awards
A quartet of seniors took home the Big West Track and Field Athlete of the Week awards for strong performances at the Bulldog Invitational and Triton Invitational.
Cal Poly senior David Namnath (San Rafael, Calif./Terra Linda HS) earned Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week accolades after finishing second in the 400 hurdles at the Bulldog Invitational. In his return from a redshirt year, Namnath ran a 52.90, his fastest time since a 2013 season in which he advanced to the West Regional quarterfinals. The time ranks No. 8 in the Big West this season.
Continuing an impressive senior season, UC Riverside all-around performer Danielle Littleton (Oceanside, Calif./Vista HS) captured her first Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award, and her fourth honor overall this season. Three times she has received Field Athlete of the Week kudos. Littleton jumped to the front of the pack in the Big West in the 100-meter hurdles, turning in a 13.56 at the Triton Invitational. She finished sixth overall, fourth among collegians. She now leads her closest competitor in the conference by .21 seconds in the event.
Long Beach State thrower Victor Martin (Hawthorne, Calif./El Camino College) continued his progression in the shot put to capture Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors. He notched a first place finish in the open division of the shot put competition at the Triton Invitational, throwing a personal-best 60-06.75. It was the third straight week that Martin had improved his lifetime best, and the first time he eclipsed the 60 foot barrier. The mark leapfrogged him to No. 3 on the school’s all-time list, and represented a foot and a half improvement from the previous week at the Beach Invitational. He has improved steadily by more than three feet in the event over the last three weeks.
UC Riverside senior Deja Watkins (Riverside, Calif./John W. North HS) captured Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honors after breaking the school record in the discus for the second time in as many weeks. After setting the record of 171-8 at the Beach Invitational on Apr. 17, Watkins bettered that mark by more than four feet as she threw 175-10 (53.59m) at the Triton Invitational. The mark placed her seventh overall, and sixth among collegians at the meet. Watkins also moved up to No. 26 in the nation, and allowed her to take over the Big West lead in the event. She also threw a season-best 184-08 (56.30) in the hammer.
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Nick Sole (Cal State Fullerton); Brian Thomas (UC Davis)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): Daijah Joe-Smith (Cal Poly); Tejera Dial (Cal State Fullerton); Emma Redick (UC Davis)
Others nominated (Men’s Field): Arnie Sambel (Cal Poly); Ben Parodi (UC Davis); Albert Hughes (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Field): Kiely Osby (Cal Poly); Breanna Standifer (UC Davis)