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Track & Field

Big West Track And Field Championships Continue At Irvine

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UC Santa Barbara Dominates Multi-Events at the Big West Track & Field Championship: Competition concluded for the Big West Multi-Event Championships closing out the first round of competition for the Big West Track and Field Championships with record-breaking marks on the day.

UC Santa Barbara’s Barbara Nwaba set a new Big West Championship Meet record in the women’s heptathlon event with 5,709 points, breaking the previous record set by Sharon Day who recorded 5,642 points in 2008.

Nwaba was the only contender for the Gauchos finishing on top in five of the seven events, to collect a team total of 10 points going into the next round of competition.

With the runner-up finish, Sara Macey of Long Beach State accumulated a lifetime-best 5,160 points, which ranks third in school history.  Kristen Kiefer placed fourth (4,985) and Phylicia Johnson took fifth (4,932) to combine for the 49ers a conference-best 19 points for first place.

Cal State Northridge brought in a combined 6 points with Olympia Jewett leading the way marking 5,040 points for third place overall.  Cal Poly sits in fourth with a team total 3 points with UC Riverside closing out the race with one point respectively.

Derek Masterson of UC Santa Barbara continued in his back-to-back showing, leading all competitors with a total 7,355 in the decathlon.  Taking second, teammate Mikael Powers scored 6,966, bringing in a team total 20 points.

Defending 2011 Champs, Long Beach State’s men’s team came in second as Dillon Fox led with a personal-record 6,595 points to finish third overall, with fellow 49er Mark Horist jumping up to the fourth spot with 6,541 points.

Cal State Northridge collected seven team points with Matadors frontrunner Derrick Harris scoring 6,441 for fifth, while Kevin Finley (6,407) and Donovan Toban (6,257) added to the total for third overall and Cal Poly collecting one point.

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 began with the multi championships (decathlon/heptathlon) on May 4 & 5, followed by the remainder of the events this week,  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.

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.