Long Beach State Men, UC Davis Women Notch Track and Field Championships
Links associated with this release:
Big West Track and Field Championship Central
Track and Field Complete Results
The Long Beach State men and UC Davis women captured the 2013 Big West Track and Field titles on the final day of competition at Cal State Northridge's Matador Track and Field Complex.
The 49ers claimed their seventh title, and third in the last six years behind an impressive showing from their field athletes. Led by the throwers, the 49er field contingent compiled 82.5 of the team's 176.5 points for first place. UC Santa Barbara finished in second place with 152 points while Cal Poly was a close third at 146. Host Cal State Northridge placed fourth with 115.50 points and UC Riverside came in fifth with 70. Rounding out the men's standings were UC Irvine (58), Cal State Fullerton (56.5) and UC Davis (37.5).
Seven men's titles tie Long Beach State with former member Utah State for the third-most in Big West history.
On the women's side, UC Davis outdistanced UC Santa Barbara for its second consecutive team title. The Aggies rode a dominant effort from their sprinters and distance runners to score 172.50 points.
Over the two-day event, the Aggies claimed victories in the steeplechase, 10,000 meters, 1,500 meters, 100 meter hurdles, 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, 800 meters and 4x400 meter relay to cruise to the championship. The Gauchos tallied 128.50 points, aided by senior Irene Kujore's three gold medal finishes and first-place showings from Jennifer Carey and Amanda Rodriguez.
Host Cal State Northridge claimed third place with 127 points. The next three spots were jumbled as newcomer Hawai'i finished fourth with 76.5, followed by Long Beach State with 75 and Cal Poly with 71.5. UC Riverside (65.5), UC Irvine (57) and Cal State Fullerton (45.5) completed the women's standings.
The final day of field events featured the men contesting the hammer, triple jump, high jump and shot put, while the women participated in the javelin, triple jump, ple vault and discus.
LBSU asserted its strength in the throws from the get-go as the first event of the day – the hammer – ended with four 49ers finishing in the top seven. Senior Josh Villalobos led the group with a winning throw of 193-04.
UC Riverside senior Travis Smith won the shot put for the second straight year with his toss of 60-03.75, but the 49ers picked up an additional 15 points with three athletes in the top seven.
Another Highlander highlight resulted from two-time winner Ryan Swafford in the triple jump, as he cleared 52-04.50.
UC Santa Barbara senior Mitchell Haag continued his dominance in the high jump, claiming his third straight gold with a winning height of 6-11.50.
UC Santa Barbara senior Irene Kujore completed a stellar performance with her third win of the meet. She tossed a 166-04 in the discus to go along with her wins in the shot put and hammer Friday. Kujore became the first individual in Big West history to win all three championship events at the same meet.
Other field event champions included UC Irvine junior Lacey Surak in the javelin (147-02) and Hawai'i senior Amanda Alvarez in the triple jump (42-03.25). UC Davis senior Emily Bush and Cal State Northridge junior Tiana Webberley tied for the individual pole vault title with identical 13-03.50 marks, but Bush picked up first-place points based on hitting her first attempt at the winning height.
The track events were a whirlwind as Fox Sports Prime Ticket was there to televise all the live action.
To begin the festivities, Cal State Northridge won the men's 4x100 meter relay in 40.00, while the Matador women pleased the home crowd with a meet and conference record 44.43 in the women's relay.
UC Irvine sophomore Riley Martin made a late surge to win the 1500 meter run in 3:49.68. UC Davis began its onslaught of victories on the women's side as sophomore Raquel Lambdin nipped UC Riverside's Damajeria Dubose at the finish line with a time of 4:28.70.
The 110 meter hurdles featured a one-two LBSU finish with junior Davon Wilson-Angel going 13.98 for the win. UCD sophomore Kayla Carter nabbed gold in the 100 meter hurdles in a time of 13.77.
In the 400, UC Santa Barbara's Jordan Scott made a strong push on the final turn to win in 46.44, while female Gaucho counterpart Jennifer Carey won by over a second in a personal-best time of 52.29.
Cal State Northridge junior Carl Horsley had a glorious three gold medal day that began with his presence on the 4x100 relay team and continued in the 100 meter dash. He blazed to a 10.46, marking the second time in his career that he won the event at the conference meet (2011). However, UC Davis sprinter Ashley Marshall would not be outdone, as the sophomore broke a meet record and tied the overall conference mark of 11.34. Marshall took down the 14-year old record of 11.36 that Cal Poly's Tamatha Jackson had set in 1999.
Transitioning to the men's 800, an event that had been dominated by UC Irvine's Charles Jock and UC Santa Barbara's Ryan Martin the previous four years, a new winner emerged. LBSU senior Gabe Hilbert stood atop the medal stand with his time of 1:48.99. In the women's 800, UCD senior Lauren Wallace nearly erased the meet record when she crossed the line in 2:03.39.
The grueling 400 meter hurdles was next on the ledger as UC Riverside sophomore Michael Koger won in 51.36. Senior Amanda Rodriguez established a personal-best and improved upon her top Big West time this season as she was victorious in 58.32.
Horsley returned for his final race, the 200 meters, and won for the third time on the afternoon with a mark of 20.89. Horsley also won that event in 2011. Marshall flirted with her second record of the meet, winning in 23.25 and picking up another 10 points for the Aggies despite missing the 16-year old mark by just two-tenths of a second.
As the meet wound down, the attention turned to the 5,000 meter run. Cal Poly junior Chris Frias overtook teammate Blake Ahrold on the home stretch to win the men's race in 14:48.71. Cal Poly freshman Laura Hollander then erased the meet record that UC Davis standout Sarah Sumpter had set just last year, running a 16:25.62.
The final event of the day was the 4x400 meter relay, with the UC Santa Barbara men winning in 3:09.84 and the UC Davis women punctuating its team crown with a 3:37.89. That performance nearly broke a 1987 record of 3:37.36 still held by UNLV.