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Track & Field

Three Conference Foes Compete For Big West Challenge Cup

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The Big West Challenge will be held at Titan Track Complex on Friday. The quad meet features Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and host Cal State Fullerton in a scored competition. The field events begin with the hammer at 2:30 p.m., while the track events are set to start with the 3000m steeplechase at 5 p.m.

The 2011 49er men won their fourth consecutive Big West Challenge Cup with a meet-record 223.5 points, while the women placed third with 165.5 points. Manny Neizer won the triple jump and Michael Vaughan finished second. Ben Woodruff also took runner-up honors in the javelin. On the track, Nathan Alade (100m and 200m) and Christopher Lawson (110H) both had second-place showings in their respective events. Katrina Graves-Johnson led the women with an individual victory in the high jump. Shari Harris was the runner-up in the hammer throw, while Rosa Del Toro (1500m) and Jessica Barnard (3000m steeplechase) also finished second.

Defending women’s champions, the Gauchos will look to take their second consecutive cup challenge victory.  The women’s team combined a total of 213.50 points to reclaim the Big West Challenge Jean Lightfoot had two big double wins in the hammer throw and discus. Her hammer mark was 163’4” and her discus throw reached 156’0”. Lightfoot also competed in the shot put and threw 44’9.5” for second place. Andrea Jacobs had a phenomenal win in the women’s steeplechase with a time of 10:44.65 and a new personal best, while teammate Amanda Moreno had another outstanding performance in the 1500m by running 4:27.90 to win the event and breaking the meet record set by Samantha Costantini of UC Irvine in 2008. 

Record Breaking Weekend:
Standout UC Davis runners Sarah Sumpter and Jonathan Peterson, each broke school records in the 10,000-meter run last Friday night at the Stanford Invitational.  Sumpter, a junior from Cloverdale, captured the conference’s women’s honor for the second time this season after finishing 22nd in the top section of the 10,000 in 33 minutes, 19.77 seconds, breaking Patti Gray’s 1983 Aggie record of 33:42.33. The mark, also a PR by more than a minute, ranks her 12th among all NCAA Division I runners. Peterson, a senior from Clovis who already holds the school record in the 5K, directly followed Sumpter’s impressive race by placing 12th in 28:50.45 while racing against an elite field of 10K runners. The time beat Jeff Kaiser’s previous school record of 29:26.54 established in 2000. Peterson’s time is also ranked nationally, currently sitting fourth among Div. I runners.

Cal Poly’s senior Kyle Inks cleared a personal-best in placing third in the pole vault while fellow Daniel Erdman had a mark over 55-feet in the shot put in the second day of competition at the Stanford Invitational. Inks hit his PR on his final attempt to clear 17-feet, 6.5-inches. Inks improved on his previous best of 17-feet, .75-inches set last season. Teammate John Prader just missed his PR in placing fifth when he cleared 16-feet, 8.75-inches. Prader’s best mark, 16-feet, 9.25-inches, was set last year.

Long Beach State’s  Gabriel Hilbert and Jessica Barnard both competed in the 800-meter run on the final day of the Stanford Invitational Saturday afternoon at Cobb Track & Angell Field.
Hilbert ran a season-best 1:51.11 to finish second in Section 4 and 19th overall. Barnard also clocked in with a season-best 2:13.19 as she placed eighth in Section 4. Both marks are Big West qualifiers.

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.