Big West Track and Field Championships Continue This Week at UC Davis
Links associated with this release:
2014 Big West Track and Field Championships Central
Track and Field Weekly Release No. 11
Squads look to peak this weekend at the 2014 Big West Track and Field Championships, held at Woody Wilson Track on the campus of UC Davis. Prime Ticket will televise four hours of live action on Saturday.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Demirjian, Morrison Capture Decathlon, Heptathlon Gold: Long Beach State senior Garrett Demirjian and Hawai‘i senior Kaleigh Morrison got their teams off to a solid start in the 2014 Big West Track and Field Championships as they captured gold in the decathlon and heptathlon to conclude the multi-events portion of the meet last weekend at UC Davis.
Demirjian picked up 10 points for the 49ers as finished in the top-five in all 10 disciplines. He tied for first in the high jump (6-02.25) and placed second in the 400-meters (50.49) on day one, then returned on the final day to post runner-up finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (14.98), discus (132-03) and the 1500-meters (4:40.78). He won with a total of 7,014 points, making him the fifth Long Beach State competitor, and first since Nicholas Armstrong in 2011 to take the decathlon title.
Morrison became the second straight Rainbow Wahine to capture the heptathlon crown as she followed Samantha Balentine’s victory in 2013. Morrison overcame a slight 18-point deficit after day one to surpass UC Riverside’s Danielle Littleton and win with 5,210 points. She placed first in the long jump (19-5.25) and then launched a personal-best throw of 134-4 in the javelin to fashion a commanding lead on the final day. On day one, Morrison won the high jump (5-06) and finished third in both the shot put and 100 hurdles.
Big West Championships Continue This Week At UC Davis: First-time Big West Track and Field Championships host UC Davis takes center stage for the main portion of the championship meet this Friday and Saturday at Woody Wilson Track. Friday’s competition will begin with the men’s hammer at 9 a.m. with the first track event the women’s 1,500-meters at 3:30 p.m. For the second straight year, Prime Ticket will air live action on Saturday from 2:00-6:00 p.m with Justin Alderson (play-by-play), Milena Glusac (color analyst) and Lindsey Thiry (sideline) providing the commentary. The men’s and women’s 4x100 relays will kick off Saturday’s track competition while both 4x400 relays will conclude it. Last year at Cal State Northridge, the Long Beach State men notched their seventh Big West title – and fourth in the last eight years. The 49ers seek to tie former Big West member San Jose State for the second-most titles in Big West history this year. On the women’s side, the host Aggies aim for their third straight Big West title after outdistancing UC Santa Barbara for the crown in 2012 and 2013.
Event Champions Return To Competition: A number of winners from the 2013 meet return in 2014 looking to claim gold once again. A majority of those athletes have posted times or marks that rank among the national top 25 this season. Here’s a list of some athletes to keep an eye on:
• Ashley Marshall, UC Davis – Marshall set a Big West championship meet record in 2013 with a time of 11.34 in the 100-meters. That mark also tied the overall conference record first set by UNLV’s Sonja Green in 11.34. Marshall’s top time in the 100m this year is 11.22, established on May 2 at the Causeway Classic. Marshall owns the eighth-fastest time in the event in 2014. Marshall doubled in the 200-meters last year with a winning time of 23.25.
• Lacey Surak, UC Irvine – The defending conference champion in the javelin, Surak has improved significantly in the event. Her throw of 166-0 on April 19 at the Beach Invitational set a school record and ranks No. 20 nationally. Surak won the 2013 meet with a toss of 147-02.
• Itos Aikhionbare, UC Irvine – Established two school records this year in the shot put (53-9) and discus (170-2). Aikhionbare ranks No. 16 nationally with her 53-9 heave in the shot put.
• Raquel Lambdin and Alycia Cridebring, UC Davis – Cridebring won the 1,500-meters in 2012 in 4:32.52 and Lambdin followed suit in 2013, crossing the line in 4:28.70. Both are one-two in the event in the Big West this year – Cridebring posting a 4:21.87 at the Stanford Invitational on April 4 and Lambdin going 4:23.08 a week later at the 35th Sun Angel Classic.
• Diana George, Cal Poly – Displayed a school record performance in the women’s 3000 steeplechase (10:15.93), a time that ranks 25th nationally. The time currently would shatter the Big West Championship meet record of 10:23.36 set by Cal State Fullerton’s Julianne Masciana in 2009. George looks to become the second Mustang to win at conference (LeAnne Fogg – 2011).
• Shyan Vaziri, UC Santa Barbara – Vaziri’s bread and butter event is the 1,500 meters. He ran a blazing 3:42.44 at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 18 that stands as the 22nd-fastest time in the nation this year and also broke the school record. Should Vaziri duplicate such a performance, he would nip Cal Poly Phillip Reid’s record mark of 3:42.54 set in 2007. Vaziri is also a contender in the 800-meters, but must outperform Long Beach State junior Chris Low. Low owns the conference’s top time (No. 19 nationally) of 1:48.30 from the April 4 Stanford Invitational. Low’s first-place effort broke a 31-year old school record in the process.
• Ted Hooper, UC Riverside and Willie Alexander, Long Beach State – Two of the nation’s top long jumpers who were recognized as 2013 All-Americans, Hooper and Alexander are the clear-cut favorites in this event. Hooper soared to a school record 25-10.25 two weeks ago at the adidas/Steve Scott Invitational and landed at No. 7 on the national best marks list. Alexander has cleared 25-feet five times this season, and produced a personal-best 25-05.25 (No. 15 nationally) at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 17. Hooper is a two-time Big West champion in the long jump and seeks to become the first three-time winner in conference history.
• Jason Harrell and Jacob Fraser, Long Beach State – A core duo of Long Beach State’s strong throwing unit, they could rack up some major points in the discus and shot put. Harrell’s 191-9 effort in the discus is No. 1 in the Big West and 23rd nationally, while Fraser’s 189-5 mark is No. 2 conference-wide. Fraser hopes to defend his discus title from 2013. Meanwhile, Fraser also leads all Big West competitors in the shot put with a throw of 58-7.5.
• Chris Frias, Cal Poly – One of the most decorated long distance runners in Big West history, Frias has an opportunity to break two long standing conference meet records if his times mirror what he has been able to accomplish so far. In the 10,000 meters, he ran a school record 28:45.60, currently the nation’s 11th-best time, and one that would knock Long Beach State’s Thomas Rodriguez from the top perch in meet annals. Rodriguez, who has held the record for nearly 40 years, ran a 29:05.40 in 1975. The 28:45.60 time enabled Frias to snatch away a 31-year old school record. Frias also has performed impressively in the 5,00-meter run. On April 18 at the Mt. SAC Relays, Frias ran the majority of the race with one shoe but still managed a PR of 13:59.80. Coincidentally, a similar mark from Frias could rearrange the Big West record book as Fresno State’s Peter Brett has owned the top time (14:03.92) in meet history since 1985.
|NATIONAL TOP 25 RANKINGS MEN (Big West only)
||Bryan Clay Invitational
||adidas/Steve Scott Invitational
||Mt. SAC Relays
||Anteater Four-Way Meet
||UCR Spring Break Invitational
|NATIONAL TOP 25 RANKINGS WOMEN (Big West only)
||adidas/Steve Scott Invitational