More First Place Finishes Highlighted In Track & Field Weekly Awards
All four honorees of the Big West Track and Field Athlete of the Week awards finished in first place in various events at respective meets.
Long Beach State senior Willie Alexander (Fresno, Calif./Central HS) made his collegiate debut in the 100 and 200 meters, and exploded onto the Big West sprint scene as he captured Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week accolades. In his first 100m track race since junior year of high school, Alexander ran a 10.63 for first place at the UC Irvine 4-Way Meet. The 10.63 ranks seventh nationally. In addition, he won his 200m race in 21.65, the 11th-best time in the country to date.
UC Riverside sophomore Tayler Fleming (Perris, Calif./Martin Luther King HS) turned in three-first place finishes at the UC Riverside Big West Double Dual for Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors. She cleared 13.88 in the 100m hurdles and ran the second leg for the winning Highlander 4x400 relay team that posted a time of 3:53.73. In addition, she captured medalist honors in the long jump (19-6.25), a mark that leads her nearest competitor in the Big West by seven inches. Her 13.88 time in the 100m hurdles is No. 4 nationally, and leads the Big West by 0.21 seconds. The Double dual also included teams from Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
Earning Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Week honors for the second straight week, Long Beach State senior Kody Robison improved upon his lifetime best in the hammer throw. Robison heaved 208-0 for first place at the Ben Brown Invitational, eclipsing the 206-1 that earned him the Big West title in 2015. His mark ranks No. 2 nationally, and No. 1 in the West Region and Big West. He trails the national leader by approximately four inches. Robison remains No. 4 all-time at LBSU in the hammer. He also unleashed a winning throw of 201-2 at the UCI 4-Way Meet.
Cal Poly sophomore Danielle Taylor (Bend, Ore./Summit HS) garnered Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week accolades as she won the high jump at the UC Riverside Double Dual. She shattered her outdoor personal-best effort by four inches, clearing 5 feet, 9.25 inches on Saturday. She also exceeded her recent indoor PR (5-7) from Jan. 30. The performance placed Taylor into a tie for ninth in school history. In addition, through two weeks of outdoor competition, Taylor shares the national lead with Nevada senior Kinsey Minter.
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Kevin Staniszewski (Cal Poly); Aneesh Joshi (Cal State Fullerton); Aspyn Walton (UC Davis); Michael Kojin (UC Riverside)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): Mallory Patino (Cal Poly); Soerra Ungerman (Cal State Fullerton); Riley Cooks (Long Beach State); Persis William-Mensah (UC Irvine)
Others nominated (Men’s Field): Ricky Strehlow (Cal Poly); Marc Toney (UC Davis); Matt Seawright (UC Irvine); Carl Nahigian (UC Riverside)
Others nominated (Women’s Field): Ty’Jalayah Robertson (Cal State Fullerton); Marina Shelton (Long Beach State); Holly Tokar (UC Davis); Barbara Coward (UC Irvine)