Weekly Honors Distributed Evenly Among Four Schools
The four Big West Track and Field Athlete of the Week winners showed off their talent at four separate meets.
UC Irvine sophomore Isaiah Jewett (Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral Catholic HS) maintained his grip on the 800-meters in earning his third Big West Men’s Track Athlete of the Week award this season. In just the fourth 800m race of his UCI career, Jewett won the collegiate open section at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays in a personal-best time of 1:48.43. That helped him clear the finish line .28 seconds faster than the runner-up from Michigan. Jewett, undefeated in the 800m this year, recorded his biggest victory yet as the field of 50 athletes was the strongest he has competed against to-date. His 1:48.43 ranks No. 1 in the Big West, 10th in the West Region and 22nd in the NCAA. Jewett also stands at No. 3 now on the UCI all-time list.
CSUN junior Courtney Robinson (Las Vegas, Nev./San Diego State) contributed four solid times at the Texas Invitational to capture Big West Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors. Her best showing came in the 100-meter hurdles, where she ran a blistering 13.13 to finish third overall. That time tops the Big West, while ranking No. 7 in the West Region and No. 12 nationally. Robinson also placed 11th in the 100-meters in a personal-best time of 11.66. She also contributed on legs of both relay events. The 4x100 quartet of Robinson, Lexis Lambert, Asheley Bamberg and Marie Veale took third in a time of 44.65, the fastest finish in the Big West this season. That same group notched a fourth-place finish in the 4x400 relay, clocking a conference-best 3:42.46.
Setting two personal records in the pole vault at home meets, Long Beach State senior Xander Cooper (Coronado, Calif./Cuyamaca College) took home Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Week accolades. Cooper initially equalled his lifetime best of 17-00.75 (5.20m) at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate, finishing third in a field of 18 vaulters on Thursday. He then returned that weekend to compete in the 23rd Beach Invitational, and responded by increasing his PR almost four inches to a conference-best 17-04.50 (5.30m). The mark inserted him into the LBSU record books at No. 9 on the all-time list. In addition, he landed at No. 11 in the West Region – one of the top vaulters to advance to next month’s NCAA First Round in Austin, Texas, and he’s also ranked nationally at No. 21.
UC Santa Barbara senior Tori Usgaard (Dana Point, Calif./Dana Hills HS) recorded an impressive personal-best score of 5,551 points in the heptathlon to garner Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week recognition. She finished third overall at the California Invitational Heptathlon and landed at No. 2 on the school’s all-time list. Usgaard mopped up big points with personal-bests in the long jump (19-05.25) and 100-meter hurdles (13.88). She pared off two-tenths of a second from her previous best in the 100m hurdles. She also ran well in the 800-meters with a time of 2:18.55. The 5,551 points not only is the best score in the Big West so far this year, it ranks No. 12 in the NCAA.
Others nominated (Men’s Track): Swarnjit Boyal (Cal Poly); Xavier Brown (CSUN); Koty Burton (Long Beach State); Sike Azu-Irondi (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Women’s Track): Peyton Bilo (Cal Poly); Courtne’ Davis (Long Beach State); Natsumi McGee (UC Davis); Persis William-Mensah (UC Irvine); Weslie Pearce (UC Riverside); Jenna Hinkle (UC Santa Barbara)
Others nominated (Men’s Field): Arnie Sambel (Cal Poly); Trevor Gorwin (Cal State Fullerton); Dennis Hicks (CSUN); Kyle Clancy (UC Davis); Matt Seawright (UC Irvine); Silviu Bocancea (UC Riverside)
Others nominated (Women’s Field): Allison Scranton (Cal Poly); Naiah Boardingham (Cal State Fullerton); Brianna Cueva (CSUN); Kennedy Krueger (Long Beach State); Michaela Mundt (UC Davis); Haleigh Sudbeck (Hawai‘i)