UC Irvine Dominates Host Event
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UC Irvine hosted the annual UC Irvine Spring Break Invite this week, March 23-24 at the Anteater Stadium, where the Anteaters and conference allies UC Riverside and Long Beach State set record-breaking marks.
Defending his home track, Jacob Yowell set meet records both in the 110-meter hurdles (13.91) and the 400-meter hurdles (51.81). For his outstanding performance Yowell was voted Men’s Track Big West Athlete of the Week for his third honor this season. He also competed in the last leg of the 4x400 relay, for a second place mark and season-best time for the team (3:12:50). Teammate Charles Jock ran a leg in the 4x400 relay as well as capturing the first place time in the 400-meter (47.07).
In the field events, UC Riverside elevated competition as Travis Smith cracked the 60-foot barrier in shot put (60’ .25”) for the furthest throw of the day and over the Invite. Fellow Highlander Deja Watkins received weekly honors after taking the conference lead in women’s discus (160’ 5”) for a third place meet finish and possible entrance for NCAA competition in May. Long Beach State’s Jacob Weintraub took the top honors in the discus event (169’ 7”), good enough for Big West weekly recognition.
Gauchos Reign at Mustang Meet: UC Santa Barbara dominated the lanes at the ShareSLO Invitational hosted by Cal Poly last week. The men’s track and field team (141.5) topped competitors Cal Poly (135), Fresno State (77.5) and Cal State Bakersfield (25), while the women’s posted a 98 finish, beating Cal Poly (79), Fresno State (75) and Cal State Bakersfield 39). The Gauchos received fourth place in both the men’s and women’s 100-meter dash, while they swept the first top times in the men’s 400-meter dash.
In the field events, Santa Barbara took first in the men’s and women’s high jump. Junior Mitchell Haag took first place with a 2.00-meter jump, with teammate Barbara Nwaba won with a 1.8-meter jump. In the air, Cal Poly was able to come away with a one-two-three sweep as Mustang’s Siera Hearne (12’ 3.5”), Clara Davis (11’ 3.75”) and McKenzie McRoberts (10’ 9.75”) scored for the pole vault event last week.
Fullerton Competed in Dual Meets: Cal State Fullerton posted four personal bests and three season best times at the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitation last week, while the women sprinters grabbed the spotlight at the Pasadena Gardens event. At Irvine, Brandon Cook competed in the men’s 800-meter (1:53.53), Marco Zaragoza in the men’s 1500 (4:00.74), Kevin Lachman in pole vault (14’5.5”) and Ian Sparks in javelin (152’ 3”) all posted career-best marks for their individual events. In Pasadena, the women’s relay team ran second to UNLV in the 4x100.
New Face At Helm Of Northridge Track & Field Program: Avery Anderson, who for the last seven years has been a major contributor to one of the Big West Conference’s most prolific track & field programs, was named head track and field coach at Cal State Northridge last summer. Anderson succeeds Don Strametz who retired after 31 years as the head coach of the women’s team and 26 at the helm of the men’s program.
During the past seven seasons, the Matadors have won 11 conference championships including six Big West Women’s Outdoor Championships. In addition, The CSUN men have won four Big West Outdoor titles since Anderson began his second stint on the coaching staff in 2005.
Since arriving at Northridge, Anderson has helped the Matador track & field program to unprecedented levels of success. He has coached two NCAA Champions including 2007 NCAA Outdoor Long Jump Champion DaShalle Andrews who became the first individual men’s NCAA Champion in school history. The following spring, Anderson made it back-to-back NCAA Long Jump champions as freshman Reindell Cole won the 2008 NCAA Indoor title.
Big West Track & Field Championship Returns to Irvine: For the second consecutive year the Big West Track & Field Championships takes place at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine. The 2012 championship begins with the multi championships (decathlon/heptathlon) on May 4 & 5 and is followed by the remainder of the events taking place May 11-12.
Last year, The Long Beach State men and Cal State Northridge women proved to be too tough for the competition as the two clubs took home their respective Big West Track & Field Titles. The 49ers won the league meet for the first time since 2008 and won their sixth title overall. LBSU amassed 177.50 points for the championship, outdistancing UC Davis which had 156 points. Cal Poly was third with 131 points, while UC Santa Barbara stands in fourth with 116.5 points. Fifth belongs to Cal State Northridge with 80 points, with host UC Irvine (79), UC Riverside (54) and Cal State Fullerton (25) complete the men’s standings.
The Matadors claimed their sixth consecutive championship and now own a league-record eight overall. CSUN’s championship defense had it post 165.5 points, with UC Santa Barbara coming in second with 126 tallies. UC Davis was third with 105 points, while Long Beach State (98.5), UC Riverside (97) and Cal Poly (88) are bunched in fourth through sixth. UC Irvine’s 75 points and Cal State Fullerton’s 61 points wrap up the women’s standings.