A Look Back at the 2016 Track and Field Season
Big West 2016 Final Track and Field Release
The Long Beach State men won a fourth straight Big West title, while the UC Davis women captured the crown for the fourth time in five years to wrap up the 2016 track and field season.
Barr Earns Second Team All-American Status
UC Davis senior Erika Barr captured second-team All-American honors after an 11th-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
Barr became the second Aggie in school history to earn All-American status in the event, joining teammate Katie Fry who finished 14th overall in 2013. Barr clocked 10:20.87 in the final at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field. She advanced to that spot after posting a career-best 10 minutes, 1.60 seconds in the semifinals. She obliterated her previous best mark of 10:08.63 set at the Stanford Invitational earlier in the year.
Barr gives the Aggies at least one All-American in each of the last five years.
Five additional Big West athletes claimed honorable mention All-American accolades based on competing in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Making his second consecutive trip to nationals, UC Irvine junior Lloyd Sicard garnered his second career honorable mention citation as he finished in 17th place in the 110-meter hurdles in 13.84 seconds. Sicard qualified for nationals with a outstanding performance at the West Preliminary in Lawrence, Kan., where he won his heat in a season-best 13.61. The two-time Big West 110-meter hurdles champion just missed hitting his career-best mark of 13.60, set during the 2015 West Preliminary.
Long Beach State teammates Robert Marlow and Fatima Vergara competed in the hammer throw in Eugene. Marlow finished in 24th place with a toss of 197-06, while Vergara was 23rd in 183-11. Marlow was the first 49er representative in the hammer since Colin Dunbar in 2011. Meanwhile, Vergara became the first female 49er to qualify for nationals in that event. A third LBSU performer, junior Riley Cooks, building upon the success of her selection as the Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, had a 20th-place finish in the heptathlon at nationals. Qualifying for the event after erasing a 25-year old school record with 5,569 points at the UCR Spring Break Invite, Cooks accumulated 5,372 points in Eugene. She placed among the top-10 in four of the seven events and set three personal records.
UC Santa Barbara senior Jessica Emde rounded out the list of five honorable mention All-Americans as she tied for 21st in the high jump with a top mark of 5 feet, 8 inches. She became the first Gaucho high jump All-American since Jane Doolittle in 2010.
Jemison Breaks Conference Meet Shot Put Record
UC Riverside junior Breana Jemison accounted for the lone record-setting performance at this year’s Big West Championships. Jemison obliterated the conference meet record in the women’s shot put with a mark of 56-11.50. That distance crushed the previous record of 54-7.25 set in 2003 by Cal Poly’s Stephanie Brown-Trafton, a three-time U.S. Olympian in the discus throw. Jemison’s performance nearly snapped Brown-Trafton’s overall Big West shot put record of 57-0.
Long Beach State Men Achieve Four-Peat
Long Beach State continued its dominance with a fourth straight men’s track and field championship, doing so in front of the home fans as the squad scored 176 points at the renovated Jack Rose Track. The 49ers tied former member Fresno State for the most conference championships of all-time (10), while joining the Bulldogs as the only two programs to capture four consecutive crowns.
For head coach Andy Sythe, it was also the program’s fifth title in the last six years. Senior Willie Alexander, the two-time Big West Field Athlete of the Year, scored a school record 42 points at the meet to help bring the 49ers the title. He won the triple jump for the second year in a row, while also collecting runner-up finishes in the 4x100 relay, 100-meters, 200-meters and long jump. He improved upon his own school record in the long jump by a quarter of an inch as he cleared 25-10.25. For his efforts, he was named Athlete of the Meet.
UC Davis Wins Fourth Time In Five Years
The UC Davis women secured their fourth league title in the last five years with a total of 135.5 points. Using balance in all the disciplines, the Aggies totalled points in the distance events (58), field events (40.5) and sprints (29). In a tight race with UC Riverside, LBSU and UC Santa Barbara, the Aggies made a late push to pull away.
Big West Represented On National Leaders List
Several Big West athletes posted national leading marks in 2016. They are as follows:
Tayler Fleming, UC Riverside – Long Jump (20-11.75, Big West Multi Championship, May 6 – No. 18)
Breana Jemison, UC Riverside – Shot Put (56-11.50, Big West Championship, May 13 - No. 8)
Brianna Cueva, CSUN – Discus (180-04, Big West Championships, May 13 - No. 19)
Riley Cooks, Long Beach State – Heptathlon (5569, UC Riverside Spring Break Invite, Mar. 24 - No. 23)
Lloyd Sicard, UC Irvine – 110H (13.64, Big West Championships, May 13 - No. 14)
Kemonie Briggs, Long Beach State – Long Jump (26-02.25, Big West Championships, May 13 – No. 4)
Willie Alexander, Long Beach State – Long Jump (25-10.25, Big West Championships, May 13 - No. 12)
James Hubbard, Long Beach State – Discus (190-2, Trojan Invitational, Mar. 18 - No. 20)
Robert Marlow, Long Beach State – Hammer (215-2, Trojan Invitational, Mar. 18 - No. 25)