CSUN Women, UC Santa Barbara Men Lead Standings at Big West Track and Field Championships
Links associated with this release:
2015 Big West Track and Field Championships Central
Through seven completed events, the leaders of the 2015 Big West Track and Field Championships are the CSUN women and UC Santa Barbara men. Fox Prime Ticket will televise Saturday’s finale from the UCR Track Facility.
Seeking its first conference title since 2011, the CSUN women claimed significant points in all four field events, including first-place finishes in the discus, long jump and javelin to end the day with 91 points. Three-time defending champion UC Davis sits in second place with 52 points. Cal Poly is third with 39 points and UC Santa Barbara fourth with 33. Fifth place belongs to Hawai‘i (29), while UC Irvine and Long Beach State are tied for sixth with eight points. UC Riverside (7) and Cal State Fullerton (6) round out the women’s standings.
On the men’s side, UC Santa Barbara is looking to earn its second title in four years. The Gauchos picked up 46 points in two events alone – the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 10,000 meters, and finished the day with 87 points overall. Long Beach State, the two-time men’s defending champion, is in second place with 53.5 points and Cal Poly lies in third with 46. UC Davis has 27 points for fourth place and UC Irvine is fifth with 19. Cal State Fullerton (16.5), CSUN (16) and UC Riverside (8) fill out the men’s standings.
The majority of the scoring events will take place on Saturday, beginning with the women's hammer at 10:00 a.m. in the first of eight field events, and continuing with the track portion which kicks off with the men's 4x100 relay at 2:08 p.m.
But points were still plentiful for those teams able to take advantage during Friday's action. The CSUN women accumulated 13 points in the javelin, eight in the pole vault, a whopping 27 in the long jump, and 15 more in the discus to add a total of 63 points to their meet leading total. In the long jump, senior Shawnta Barnes established a personal-best 19-07.00 to win the title, while senior Ronisha Vallery finished second with a leap of 19-05.25. Junior Marissa Rossi (18-11.25) and senior Olympia Jewett (18-10.75) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, to boost the Matador points haul.
Junior Monique Griffiths became a two-time champion in the discus, picking up 10 more points for the Matadors with her winning toss of 170-06.00 that narrowly beat out Hawai‘i junior Alex Porlier-Langlois, who went 170-01.00 for second.
Senior Mariah Counts became the first CSUN woman since meet record holder Sammie Freeman (2002) to capture gold in the javelin. Counts registered a 154-02.00 on her fifth attempt for the victory.
UC Davis received solid contributions in the pole vault and 3,000 meter steeplechase for its points stable. The Aggies finished one-two-three in the steeplechase with junior Erika Barr crossing the finish line first in 10:47.13., followed by sophomore Clara Macleod (10:54.14) and Rianna Goins (11:02.13).
The Aggies continued their dominance in the pole vault. Junior Ariel Maroon became the fourth different Aggie in the last four years to capture gold, as she cleared 12-10.00 to easily win the event and give UC Davis 10 points.
UC Santa Barbara ended a three-year UC Davis run in the 10,000 meters as senior Daniella Moreno posted a 37:33.52 for first place in the last of the scoring events for the evening.
Notwithstanding UCSB's dominance in the two scoring running events, points were equally distributed around in the field disciplines with three different schools accounting for gold among four competitions.
UC Irvine senior Mason Miller became the school's first shotput champion in 25 years with a winning toss of 60-00.25.
After missing the last two years, Cal State Fullerton senior Steven Williams went out a winner in the high jump with a clearance of 6-09.50.
Long Beach State junior Willie Alexander, a 2014 first team All-American in the long jump, soared to a personal-best 25-05.50 to notch gold. Teammate Ryan Sanders finished third with a jump of 22-11.25 as the 49ers came up with 16 points in the event.
The 49ers received another first-place contribution from sophomore Kody Robison, who captured the title in the hammer in 205-06.00.
But it was UCSB which seized upon the momentum of a 20-point head start in the decathlon from last weekend's multi-events competition. Senior Bryce Rausa won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 9:00.33, denying Cal Poly junior Nick Woolf of a third straight gold in the event. Woolf came in third in 9:03.57. Rausa's teammate, sophomore Adam Avila, finished runner-up in 9:02.99 while another Gaucho, sophomore George Baier, mopped up five more points with his fourth place showing in 9:08.25.
The Gauchos ended the brisk evening placing three of the top four runners in the 10,000 meters. Junior Bryan Guijarro used a late kick to nip teammate Anthony Ortolan at the finish line. Guijarro won with a time of 31:09.72.
The remainder of the day was spent in preliminary qualifying for Saturday's finals. A majority of favorites recorded top times in qualifying heats. For the men, UC Irvine sophomore Lloyd Sicard in the 110-meter hurdles (14.22), CSUN junior Anass Zouhry in the 1,500 meters (3:53.54), Long Beach State junior Cameron Glasgow in the 400 meters (46.93), CSUN senior Carl Horsley in the 100 meters (10.61) and UC Riverside senior Michael Koger in the 400-meter hurdles (51.95) had top qualifying times in their respective events.
For the women, UC Davis senior and two-time All-American Ashley Marshall recorded the top qualifying time in the 100 (11.55). She was joined by Aggie teammate Raquel Lambdin in the 800 (2:10.08).
Fox Sports Prime Ticket begins its coverage of Saturday's action at 2:00 p.m. with Justin Alderson (play-by-play), Milena Glusac (color) and Lindsey Thiry (reporter) providing the commentary. Prime Ticket will also cover the awards ceremonies for both winning teams as well as the announcement of the male and female Athletes of the Meet.