Big West Challenge Participants Take Home Weekly Honors
Three Long Beach State performers plus one from Cal State Fullerton earned the track and field weekly awards after solid performances at the Big West Challenge.
Sophomore Kemonie Briggs (Long Beach, Calif./Texas Tech) posted one first place and three second place finishes to help Long Beach State to the Big West Challenge team title, earning Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week accolades. It was the second time this season Briggs received an award, as he was named Field Athlete of the Week on Mar. 7. Briggs won a tight 400-meter race against top challengers from Cal State Fullerton, clocking a lifetime-best 46.91 and topping his previous best mark by .5 seconds. Briggs notched another PR in the 200-meters with a second-place finish in a time of 21.28. He also helped both Beach relay teams to runner-up finishes. The 4x100 relay team posted a season-best time of 41.18, an improvement of .6 seconds, and the 4x400 quarter finished in 3:11.88. That mark was a whopping five second improvement off the previous best effort.
In a busy meet for Long Beach State senior Riley Cooks (Coarsegold, Calif./Cuesta College), the all-around talent posted two first place and two second place finishes at the 25th annual Big West Challenge, garnering Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors. She competed in a total of six events in a 4 1/2 hour period. Cooks produced three PR’s – 13.52 in the 100-meter hurdles, 19-10.25 in the long jump and 45.13 in the 4x100 relay. All three exceeded the 2016 NCAA Regional Qualifying cut-off and were wind legal. The Beach set a meet record in the 4x100 as Cooks ran the leadoff leg, and contributed to the No. 2 time in LBSU history for that event. Her long jump leap broke the meet record by six inches and landed at No. 8 in the LBSU record book. Meanwhile, her 100 hurdles time missed the school record by a mere .03 seconds, but still qualified for No. 2 on the all-time list. Cooks also competed in the 4x400 relay (4th place, 3:50.07), javelin (2nd place, 134-08) and shot put (10th place, 36-04.75).
Cal State Fullerton junior Anthony Applequist (Walnut, Calif./Mt. San Antonio College) collected his first career Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Week award as he personal and meet records at the Big West Challenge. In winning the triple jump with a mark of 51-00.00 at Long Beach State’s Jack Rose Track, he set a new meet record. Applequist is the only Big West competitor to exceed 51 feet this year in the triple jump. His best performance came on Mar. 31 at the UCLA Legends Invite when he leaped 51-02.75. Applequist also had a solid fourth-place effort in the long jump as he established a PR with a distance of 23-00.50.
Junior De’Ondra Young (Menifee, Calif./Palomar College) smashed the Long Beach State school record in the hammer throw to notch her second Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week honor this season. Young eclipsed the previous mark by two feet as she cleared 201-06 (61.41m) at the Big West Challenge to win the event. That distance ranks No. 2 in the Big West, No. 12 in the West Region and No. 23 in the NCAA. She also came away with a sixth-place finish in the shot put with a mark of 39-10 (12.14m).
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Mason Rollins (Cal State Fullerton); Lloyd Sicard (UC Irvine); Sike Azu-Irondi (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): Zuri Henderson (Cal State Fullerton); Jazmen Bunch (UC Davis); Megan George (UC Irvine); Jenna Hinkle (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Men’s Field): Jacob Rickman (Cal Poly); Vincent Calhoun (Long Beach State); Wes Braddock (UC Riverside); Matthew Kuskey (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Field): Keana Viss (Cal Poly); Valerie Nestor (UC Santa Barbara)