Busy Week For Track and Field Squads With Conference Meet Looming
Track and Field Weekly Release No. 7
With the multi-event portion of the Big West Track and Field Championships two weeks away, conference teams are spreading out to various events across southern California to jockey for top times and qualifying marks.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Large Big West Contingent Descends On Mt. SAC Relays: The Big West will feature a number of teams in competition at the Mt. Sac Relays this week as Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai’i will all have representation at the meet in Walnut, Calif. Some schools have entries in the Mt. SAC/California Invitational Decathlon/Heptathlon which takes place on Apr. 17-18 and others will focus on the main portion of the meet, with sprinters, hurdlers and distance runners in the action from Apr. 17-19.
Long Beach State Hosts Beach Invitational: Long Beach State hosts the annual Beach Invitational this weekend with some 2,000 individuals and almost 3,000 entries involved in the meet. In addition, there are 34 states, 22 clubs and four countries (Brazil, Mexico, Canada, United States) represented. The hammer throw is the only event taking place on Friday with the remainder of the meet set for Saturday. In addition to the 49ers, the Big West will have representatives from UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Hawai’i.
Hawai’i Spreads Out To Four Different Southern California Meets: In preparation for its first Big West Championship in a couple of weeks, Hawai’i will send a contingent of 23 athletes to compete in various meets through southern California this week. The Rainbow Wahine will have representatives at the Mt. SAC Relays, Cal State Los Angeles Twilight Meet, the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif., and the Beach Invitational.
Cal State Northridge Posts Top Big West Marks On Trip To Texas: Cal State Northridge had some sterling performances during last week’s trip to the Texas Invitational. Junior Tiana Webberley vaulted to the top of the Big West best marks list with her mark of 12-11.75 in the pole vault, more than 10 inches better than her closest competitor. Fellow Matador Nicholas DiMartino posted a 24-6.5 in the long jump to move to the top of the conference in that event, while sprinter Carl Horsley blazed to a 10.48 in the 100m to take the No. 1 spot by one-tenth of a second.
Big West Athletes Post National Marks: Seven men andsix women have posted marks that rank in the top 25 nationally. Samantha Balentine of Hawai’i boasts a No. 6 national ranking in the high jump with a mark of 6-0.5 on April 11 at the Sacramento State Mondo Mid-Major Challenge. She is the highest nationally ranked Big West athlete among the men or women. Teammate Amanda Alvarez ranks No. 7 in the triple jump with her leap of 42-9.5 on March 29 at the Stanford Invitational. UC Davis runner Lauren Wallace is No. 8 in the 800m with a time of 2:04.89 that she achieved at the Sun Angel Classic on April 5. Three men’s athletes are rated as high as No. 11 in different events – UC Riverside senior Travis Smith threw 61-8.25 in the shot put (Sun Angel Classic –Apr. 5), UC Santa Barbara senior Mitchell Haag posted a 7-2.5 in the high jump (Cal-Nevada Championships – Mar. 29), and Cal Poly senior John Prader registered an 18-0.5 in the pole vault (Cal Poly/ShareSlo.com Invite – Mar. 15).
NATIONAL TOP 25 RANKINGS MEN (Big West only)
Event Name School Time/Mark Rank Meet Date
400H Michael Koger UCR 51.32 No. 16 Cal-Nevada Championships 3/29
3000 Steeple Blake Ahrold CP 8:55.10 No. 17 Stanford Invitational 3/29
High Jump Mitchell Haag UCSB 7-2.5 No. 11 Cal-Nevada Championships 3/29
Pole Vault John Prader CP 18-0.5 No. 11 Cal Poly/ShareSlo.com Invite 3/15
Triple Jump Michael Vaughan LBSU 51-7.25 No. 13 Beach Classic 3/1
Shot Put Travis Smith UCR 61-8.25 No. 11 Sun Angel Classic 4/5
Javelin Adam Bianchessi LBSU 223-7 No. 25 SDSU Aztec Invitational 3/14
NATIONAL TOP 25 RANKINGS WOMEN (Big West only)
Event Name School Time/Mark Rank Meet Date
800M Lauren Wallace UCD 2:04.89 No. 8 Sun Angel Classic 4/5
5000M Alycia Cridebring UCD 16:06.14 No. 15 Stanford Invitational 3/29
Sarah Sumpter UCD 16:09.83 No. 20 Stanford Invitational 3/29
3000 Steeple Katie Fry UCD 10:16.96 No. 14 Stanford Invitational 3/29
High Jump Samantha Balentine UH 6-0.5 No. 6 Mondo Mid-Major Challenge 4/11
Triple Jump Amanda Alvarez UH 42-9.5 No. 7 Stanford Invitational 3/29
Recapping The 2012 Big West Championships: The UC Davis women and UC Santa Barbara men captured the first team titles in their program histories to highlight action at the 2012 Big West Track and Field Championships. The Aggies won by just one-half point over runner-up UC Santa Barbara – 170-169.50 – helped by first place finishes in the 100m and 200m by Melanise Chapman. Sarah Sumpter also helped UCD with her second meet record at the championships, running a 16:35.07 in the 5,000 meters and erasing the old mark of 16:38.19 held by Beth McGrann in 1989.
UC Santa Barbara outdistanced runner-up Long Beach State by 29 points to capture the men’s title. The marquee event involved the Gauchos as Ryan Martin lined up against rival Charles Jock of UC Irvine in the 800 meters. Jock won by a narrow two one-hundredths of a second at the finish line in a memorable race by two of the top runners in the country.
Big West Track & Field Championship Heads To Northridge: After a two-year stint at UC Irvine, the 2013 Big West Track and Field Championships head to Cal State Northridge. The 2013 championship begins with the multi-events on May 3-4 and continues with the bulk of the events on May 10-11. Fox Sports Prime Ticket will televise the finals on Saturday, May 11.