Long Beach State Men, UC Davis Women Claim Track and Field Titles
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2016 Track and Field Championships Central
Day Two Results
Two all-around superb team performances catapulted the Long Beach State men and UC Davis women to Big West Track and Field titles as the conference meet concluded Saturday at Jack Rose Track.
Long Beach State won its fourth consecutive men’s championship with balanced scoring in the sprints and field events, earning 176 points. It was the 10th championship overall for the 49ers, tying them with Fresno State for the most in Big West history. In addition, LBSU joined Fresno State as the only two programs to capture four straight crowns. Head coach Andy Sythe’s troops have secured the title in five of the last six years.
UC Santa Barbara collected 125 points for second place, while Cal Poly had 114 for third. UC Davis finished fourth with 113 points and CSUN had 106 in fifth as the next four schools in the final standings were separated by just 19 points. Cal State Fullerton tallied 91 points in sixth place, with UC Irvine (61) and UC Riverside (33) rounding out the scoring.
In a women’s competition that went down to the wire, UC Davis emerged as champion for the fourth time in the last five years with a total of 135.5 points.
The Aggies achieved their goal thanks to balanced scoring across all disciplines. UC Davis received 58 points in the distance events, 40.5 from the field events, and 29 in the sprints.
Three squads were separated by as little as three and a half points with a trio of events remaining before the Aggies made a late push to pull away.
UC Santa Barbara placed second with 118.5 points to finish runner-up for the fifth time in the last seven years. UC Riverside came in third with 118 points, tying for its best showing since 2009. The host 49ers were fourth with 110 points. UC Irvine recorded 86.5 points for fifth place and Cal Poly was sixth with 76.5. Cal State Fullerton (62), Hawai‘i (56) and CSUN (55) rounded out the team scoring.
Senior Willie Alexander, the Men’s Athlete of the Meet, had a huge impact on LBSU’s fourth consecutive men’s title. He scored a school-record 42 points on the weekend. Alexander won gold in the triple jump for the second time in his career after clearing 50 feet, 8 inches on his second jump. He also had runner-up finishes in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100 relay and long jump.
LBSU recorded six individual titles over the two days. Racking up additional points was senior Michael Montgomery, who won the pole vault for the second year in a row. Montgomery had a winning vault of 17-04.50 to beat out classmate Xander Cooper, who recorded a lifetime-best 17-00.75.
Other 49er winners on Saturday included senior Ryan Colebrook in the 400 meter hurdles. He clocked a personal-best 51.69 seconds. Polishing off the victory was the 4x400 relay team, which claimed gold for the third straight year with a time of 3:11.99.
Darion Williams took the first of two individual titles for the Gauchos on Saturday as had a winning throw of 208-05 in the javelin. Senior Shyan Vaziri used a dominating finishing kick to register victory in the 800 meters in 1:50.45.
Cal State Fullerton showcased its young and talented sprinters corps as the Titans took the top spot on the podium three times. Winning the event at the conference meet for the first time in school history, the 4x100 relay team blazed to a time of 40.10 seconds to kick off the festivities on Saturday.
Titan sophomore Eli Penick recorded the fastest 100 meter winning time since 2003 as he crossed the line in 10.33 seconds. Meanwhile, junior Darion Zimmerman became the first Titan since 2007 to capture the 400 meter title as he won in 47.46.
Cal Poly senior Nick Woolf capped out a decorated career with his fifth individual gold at the Big West meet. Woolf won for the second time this weekend, following up his 3,000 steeplechase win on Friday by clocking 14:52.81 for first place in the 5,000 meters. Woolf racked up three steeplechase and two 5,000 titles during his Mustang career.
The balanced Aggie scoring effort in the women’s competition was underscored by the fact that the team needed only two event victories. Junior Rianna Goins ran a 2:09.04 in the 800 meters to earn gold, while the 4x400 relay team polished off the team title with a season-best time of 3:41.67.
UCR senior Asha Giles provided the school’s first women’s title in the 400 meters with a time of 53.50. In the shot put, Breana Jamison became the first UCR champion in that event as well with a best toss of 56-11.50.
Jessica Emde of UC Santa Barbara became a two-time champion in the high jump as she posted an identical winning mark of 5-10.50. Senior Tori Tsolis captured her school’s first gold in the 1,500 meters as she crossed the line in 4:20.53.
UC Irvine junior Megan George posted the third-fastest winning time in Big West meet history in the 100 meter hurdles. The conference leader in the event, George blazed to victory in 13.33 seconds.
Meanwhile, LBSU freshman Courtne’ Davis doubled in the 100 and 200 meters, marking the fifth straight year that a competitor has accomplished the feat. Davis stepped to the top of the podium in 11.50 for the 100 and 23.65 in the 200.