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Track & Field

Big West Qualifies 98 Individuals For NCAA West Preliminary

Links associated with this release:
NCAA Division I Track and Field West Preliminary Round Central


Big West Participants List | Preliminary Round Schedule Of Events

Track and Field Weekly Release No. 12

Women's Heat Sheets (Thursday) | Men's Heat Sheets (Thursday)



Ninety-eight track and field athletes will represent the Big West at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships, which will be contested May 29-31 in Fayetteville, Ark.

The total number of competitors is six better than the 2013 contingent that competed in Austin, Texas.  All nine conference squads will be represented in the competition.  Long Beach State is sending the largest group of 22 competitors, while UC Davis (21) and Cal State Northridge (16) also sport sizable groups.

Six Big West entries are ranked in the West Region top-10 entering the meet, with hopes of qualifying for the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Oregon, June 11-14.

Three men’s athletes own the highest regional ranking of No. 6.  UC Riverside senior Ted Hooper, a 2013 Second Team All-American, is ranked sixth in the long jump with a school record mark of 25-10.25.  Hooper’s teammate, senior Caleb Stuart, will represent the Highlanders in the shot put and hammer, but his signature event is the latter.  Stuart threw a school record 220-7 earlier this year and the 2014 Big West Men’s Field Athlete of the Year is poised to contend for a regional title.  Long Beach State junior Chris Low also has designs on a big finish as he broke a 31-year old school record in the 800-meters, running a lifetime-best 1:48.30 at the Stanford Invitational.

The highest ranked women’s entry is UC Davis junior Ashley Marshall, the two-time Big West Track Athlete of the Year.  A double winner in the 100-meters and 200-meters at the Big West Championships for the second year in a row, Marshall sports the seventh-fastest 100m time at 11.22.  Marshall is competing in the 200m and on the Aggies’ 4x100 relay team.

UC Irvine junior Itos Aikhionbare is ranked No. 9 in the shot put with her school record mark of 53-9.  The first Anteater in school history to be dubbed Women’s Field Athlete of the Year, Aikhionbare won gold in both the shot put and discus at the conference meet.  She is 33rd regionally in the discus with a lifetime-best throw of 170-1.

Cal Poly senior Chris Frias competes in his signature event – the 10,000-meters.  Frias erased a 31-year old school record on April 4 at the Stanford Invitational, finishing in 28:45.60.  That time is the 10th-fastest heading into the West Preliminary Round.

On the cusp of the top-10 in their events are Long Beach State senior Jason Harrell and UC Irvine senior Lacey Surak.  Harrell’s toss of 191-9 in the discus has him ranked No. 11, while Surak is also No. 11 in the women’s javelin with a school record 166-0 throw.

Competition for the West Preliminary Round begins on Thursday, May 29 at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus.  The prestigious meet continues through Saturday, May 31.  The meet opens with UCI’s Surak, Long Beach State’s Tiffany Forbito and UC Santa Barbara’s Melissa Rake the Big West’s initial representatives in the women’s javelin.  Running events begin with the 400-meter hurdles.

The Long Beach State men and UC Davis women hoisted Big West hardware for the second year in a row to conclude the conference championship in Davis on May 17.  LBSU won its eighth Big West title overall, and fifth in the last nine years, aided by eight individual titles.  The 49ers scored a school-record 218.5 points.  UC Davis captured its third straight crown with 10 golds at the conference meet, led by two-time champion Ashley Marshall in both the 100-meters and 200-meters.  The Aggies, which tallied 194 points, edged out a hard charging Cal State Northridge squad with 183.33 points.  Long Beach State’s eight men’s conference titles are the most by a current Big West member, and tied for the second-most all-time.  The Aggie women already rank fifth all-time in Big West history with three championships in just seven years as a member.  The Aggies had the highest winning point total since 2009, when Cal State Northridge tallied 198 points.

HOW THEY CAN ADVANCE TO NATIONALS: Qualifiers for the NCAA West Preliminary Round are comprised of athletes who ranked among the top 48 in their respective event.  The best 24 relay times also qualified for the NCAA prelims.  Athletes with the top 12 times/marks and the best 12 relay teams at both the East and West prelims will qualify for the NCAA Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

• In the 100 meters, 200m, 400m, 800m, 100/110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, the top 3 from six first round heats, plus the next 6 fastest times, advance to the quarterfinals (24).

• In the 1,500m, the top 5 from four first round heats, plus next 4 fastest times advance to the quarterfinals (24).

• In the 3,000m steeplechase, the top 3 from three quarterfinal heats, plus the next 3 fastest times (12), advance to the NCAA meet.

• In the 5,000m, the top 5 from both heats, plus the next 2 fastest times (12), advance to the NCAA meet.

• In the 10,000m, the top 12 from the lone heat will advance to the NCAA meet.

• In the 4x100m and 4x400m relays, the top 3 from three quarterfinal heats, plus the next 3 fastest times (12), advance to the NCAA meet.

• In the long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, hammer and javelin, the 12 best marks, after tiebreakers, will qualify from the first round of three preliminary attempts to the final round of three tries. The top 12 advance to the NCAA meet.

• In the high jump and pole vault, the top 12, based on performance after tiebreakers and possibly a jump-off, will qualify for the NCAA meet.

Event Name School Time/Mark Rank Meet Date
800M Chris Low LBSU 1:48.30 No. 22 Stanford Invitational 4/4
1500M Shyan Vaziri UCSB 3:42.44 No. 23 Bryan Clay Invitational 4/18
10000M Chris Frias CP 28:45.60 No. 11 Stanford Invitational 4/4
Long Jump Ted Hooper UCR 25-10.25 No. 9 adidas/Steve Scott Invitational 5/2
  Willie Alexander LBSU 25-5.25 No. 24 Mt. SAC Relays 4/17
Discus Jason Harrell LBSU 191-9 No. 25 Anteater Four-Way Meet 3/15
Hammer Caleb Stuart UCR 220-7 No. 11 UCR Spring Break Invitational 3/27
Event Name School Time/Mark Rank Meet Date
100M Ashley Marshall UCD 11.22 No. 11 Causeway Classic 5/2
Shot Put Itos Aikhionbare UCI 53-9 No. 21 adidas/Steve Scott Invitational 5/2
Javelin Lacey Surak UCI 166-0 No. 22 Beach Invitational 4/19