Track and Field Season Begins This Weekend
2017 Track and Field Release No. 1
Seven schools are in action this week to kick off the 2017 Big West track and field season.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Track And Field Kicks Off The 2017 Season: Big West schools open up the 2017 track and field season at four different meets around California. Cal Poly and UC Davis compete at the Cal Opener, while UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara travel to the All-UC Challenge in La Jolla. Long Beach State hosts UCLA in a dual, and Cal State Fullerton joins UC Riverside at the Riverside Community College Quad Meet, an event that also features Pepperdine.
Long Beach State Competes In First Dual Meet Under Sythe: In the 29-year coaching career of Long Beach State’s Andy Sythe, his program has never competed in a dual meet. Until now. The Beach hosts UCLA in a dual at Jack Rose Track. In conjunction with the Dual meet, Long Beach State will recognize the 1967 National Championship men’s track and field team which earned the school’s first-ever NCAA title. That team competed in the NCAA College Division Championships and more than doubled the point total of the second place finisher for the national title.
Cal Poly, UC Davis Test Mettle: The Cal Poly and UC Davis squads begin their outdoor seasons in Berkeley, battling against the hosting Golden Bears and Nevada. The Mustangs feature three former Big West champions in the meet, including sophomore Megan Mooney (javelin), junior Molly Haar (5,000 meters - 2015) and sophomore Peyton Bilo (10,000 meters), who will race in the 1,5000 and 3,000 meters. The Aggie women are the defending Big West champions.
UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara Face Off Against UC San Diego: UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara will send a handful of athletes to La Jolla for the season-opening All-UC Challenge at UC San Diego’s Triton Track & Field Stadium. The Anteaters will look to senior Lloyd Sicard to impress in the 110-meter hurdles. Sicard is the school record holder with a time of 13.60, and a two-time Big West champion and NCAA Championship qualifier. He was the co-Big West Track Athlete of the Year last season and earned a spot in the 110H at the U.S. Olympic Trials. On the women’s side, UCI also has defending Big West champion Megan George in the 100-meter hurdles, and junior Persis WIlliam-Mensah. William-Mensah participated in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as a member of Ghana’s 4x100 relay team.
UC Santa Barbara’s men, which finished second at the Big West Championship last year, features senior Adam Avila in his 3000m steeplechase season debut. He qualified for NCAA regionals as a junior with a sub-9 minute time. The Gaucho women look to junior Jenna Hinkle in the distance events and sophomore Hope Bender in the 100 hurdles.
Titans, Highlanders Begin Season In Inland Empire: Riverside City College hosts a Quad Meet that also includes UC Riverside, Cal State Fullerton and Pepperdine. The Titans experienced great success last year and seek continued improvement in 2017. Junior Eli Penick obliterated the school record in the 100-meters at the Big West Championship with a winning time of 10.33, the fastest performance by a conference meet champion since 2003.
Big West Track & Field Championship Comes To Cal State Fullerton: Cal State Fullerton will host the Big West Track and Field Championships for the first time since 1999. The Titan Track Complex will be home to the multi-events portion of the meet (May 5-6) and the full portion (May 12-13).