More Personal Bests, Records Fall For Award Winners
Conference top marks or personal bests ruled the announcement of the Big West Track and Field Athletes of the Week.
Cal State Fullerton senior Darion Zimmerman (Oxnard, Calif./Weber State) earned Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week accolades after recording personal-bests in two events at the UCLA Legends Invite. Zimmerman ran a 10.57 in the 100-meters and blazed to a 21.16 finish in the 200-meters. Both performances netted him third place at the prestigious meet. His 200 meter time is tops in the Big West this year. Zimmerman also participated on the third-place Titan 4x400 relay team, which finished in 3:23.22.
UC Santa Barbara junior Jenna Hinkle (Cottonwood, Calif./West Valley HS) won the Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week award for the second straight time after breaking the school record in the 1500-meters. Her time of 4:16.62 at the Stanford Invite bested the previous record of 4:19.02 set by Tori Tsolis last year. Hinkle won the second-fastest heat of the event as she took over the lead in the final 300 meters of the race. Hinkle’s performance is tops in the Big West and ranks No. 9 in the NCAA.
Senior Carl Nahigian (Lodi, Calif./St. Mary’s HS) also captured his second straight Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Week award as he won the shot put at the UCLA Legends Invite. He cleared 18.40m (60-04.25), besting student-athletes from CSUN, Cal State Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara, Washington State and the host Bruins. His effort came up just shy of his personal best of 61-06.75 set last week at the UC Riverside Spring Classic Invitational. He still leads his nearest competitor in the Big West by two feet, and ranks seventh in the region and 13th in the nation.
Cal State Fullerton junior Bryn Williamson (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial HS) became the first pole vaulter in program history to clear 13 feet as the recipient of Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week accolades. She finished second in the event at the UCLA Legends Invite, posting a mark of 13-00.25. She broke her own previous record of 12-10.75 set earlier this year at the RCC Quad Meet, which at the time broke a school record that had stood since 2003. Her current best of 13-00.25 ranks No. 2 in the Big West.
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Swarnjit Boyal (Cal Poly); Isaiah Johnson (Long Beach State); Brian Thomas (UC Davis); Lloyd Sicard (UC Irvine); Carlos Lopez (UC Riverside); Sike Azu-Irondi (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): Peyton Bilo (Cal Poly); Arianna Fuentes (Cal State Fullerton); Lexis Lambert (CSUN); Ashleigh Chambers (Long Beach State); Jazmen Bunch (UC Davis); Persis William-Mensah (UC Irvine); Weslie Pearce (UC Riverside); Courtney Andre’ (Hawai‘i)
Others nominated (Men’s Field): Arnie Sambel (Cal Poly); Anthony Applequist (Cal State Fullerton); Jason Smith (Long Beach State); Steven Childs (UC Davis); Matthew Kuskey (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Field): Abi Iriafen (Cal Poly); Brianna Cueva (CSUN); Jasmine Bass (Long Beach State); Emem Ibekwe (UC Davis); Valerie Nestor (UC Santa Barbara); Lily Lowe (Hawai‘i)