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Track & Field

Big West Track Gets Top Marks At Cal/Nevada Championships

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Five Big West teams made their way to the Cal/Nevada Championships proving the ranks among opponents as Long Beach State finished second in the women’s competition, just five points shy of the title that went to San Diego State.  The men’s side was dominated by the Big West with the top four finishes, UC Santa Barbara (141.50), Long Beach State (114), UC Riverside (109) and Cal State Northridge (84.50).

Kayla Goosby, Saedra Wright, Dee Lars and Emily Cooper started off the day with a victory in the women’s 4x100 relay as they crossed the finish line in a season-best 46.99 seconds. Cooper came from behind on the anchor leg to give LBSU the win.  In the field events, Katrina Graves-Johnson took top honors in the high jump. She matched her lifetime-best at 5-10, which ranks eighth in program history.  Jacob Weintraub claimed the shot put title with a distance of 58-07.25. That mark was a lifetime best and ranks fifth in school history. Jacob Fraser also tied for sixth in the shot put (53-02.75) and was fifth in the discus (161-06).

The Matadors finished fourth in both women’s and men’s standings with outstanding finishes in the relay events.  The 4x100 men’s relay team ran the best time of the meet as Horsley, Marsden, Henry and Jones finished in 41.36. The 4x400 team of Workman, Kenneth Stone, Horsley and Broussard finished seventh in a time of 3:17.17. The women earned 10 points for their first-place finish in the 4x400 relay as Cox, Mullany-Banks, Precious Watkins and Harrison ran a meet-best 3:39.42.

Long Beach State’s Ben Woodruff was named the Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet for his performance in the javelin on Saturday. Woodruff won the event by 19 feet with a lifetime-best 235-10.  UC Riverside’s Ashley Gatewood earned women’s field athlete of the meet honors over the weekend at the Cal-Nevada Championship after winning the javelin (161’ 6”) and hammer throw (186’ 3”) and finishing sixth in the shot put (45’ 3”).

Cal Poly Competition Shortened: Saturday’s track and field meet, Fresno State Invitational, at Buchanan High School was canceled due to inclement weather conditions.  The Mustangs continued midweek with a multi-event squad competed against a national field at the Sam Adams International and gained some valuable experience. On the men’s side, freshman Devin Bennett placed 13th in the 18-person field with San Luis Obispo’s Chris Randolph, competing for Skechers won the two-day event with 7840 points.

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.