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Track & Field

Big West Heads To Tracktown USA For NCAA Championships

Links associated with this release:
NCAA Division I Track and Field Page



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Track and Field Weekly Release No. 12

Fifteen Big West representatives are making the trip to Eugene, Oregon for the 2018 NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships this week at Historic Hayward Field.

NCAA Track and Field Championships Ready For Eugene
The Big West will a contingent of 15 individuals to the 2018 NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The four-day event, running June 6-9, will take place for the 16th time at Track Town USA.  The meet will be split into men’s and women’s competition days, with the men participating on Wednesday and Friday, and women competing on Thursday and Saturday.

The ESPN family of networks will air the event.  ESPN2 will carry action on Wednesday and Thursday, while ESPN will telecast the action on Friday and Saturday.  A live stream will also be available on ESPN3.

The 15 Big West representatives include two relay teams, two long jumpers, two high jumpers, a pole vaulter, a middle distance runner and a heptathlete.  With the heptathlon as an exception, all participating athletes advanced to Eugene on the basis of finishing within the top-12 at the NCAA West Preliminary in Sacramento.

Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara and Hawai'i will have at least one representative at nationals.

Here is the list of Big West participants:

Erinn Beattie, UC Davis – High Jump
Lily Lowe, Hawai'i – High Jump
Courtne’ Davis/Ashleigh Chambers/Azaria Hill/Madison Golden, Long Beach State – 4x100 Relay
Jenna Hinkle, UC Santa Barbara – 1500 Meters
Hope Bender, UC Santa Barbara – Heptathlon

Jason Smith, Long Beach State – Long Jump
Saladin Nasser, Long Beach State – Long Jump
Marc Toney, UC Davis – Pole Vault
Rasaun House, Thaddeus Smith, Luis Matos, Marcel Espinoza, Cal State Fullerton – 4x100 Relay

Beattie, Hinkle Make Repeat Appearances In NCAA’s
Reaching the NCAA Track and Field Championships for the second straight year are UC Davis junior Erinn Beattie and UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle.  Beattie is appearing in her second consecutive women’s high jump competition after finishing 18th overall with a top mark of 5 feet, 8 inches in 2017.  She set the school record on April 19 at the Bryan Clay Invitational during the heptathlon competition.  On her final attempt, she cleared 6-00.50, which is currently tied for No. 8 nationally with Hawai‘i sophomore Lily Lowe, who will join Beattie at the NCAA meet.  Beattie was the first Aggie in school history to clear six feet in the high jump.  Coincidentally, Beattie scored 5,387 points at the Bryan Clay Invitational to establish an Aggie heptathlon record.

Hinkle is making her second straight NCAA appearance in the women’s 1500 meters.  She finished 21st overall in 2017 with a time of 4:21.11.  To get to Eugene this year, Hinkle broke her own school record in the West Preliminary Round, clocking 4 minutes, 15.39 seconds.  Hinkle placed sixth in her heat, just outside the top five to automatically qualify for nationals, but had the fastest at-large time to secure her trip to Eugene.  Hinkle broke her previous record of 4:16.62 set at the Stanford Invitational in 2017.

Relay Squads Own School Records
Both 4x100 relay entries at nationals also posted school record-setting times this season.  The Cal State Fullerton men’s quartet of Luis Matos, Thaddeus Smith, Rasaun House and Marcel Espinoza posted the first sub-40 second race in program history on May 27 at the West Preliminary meet in Sacramento, Calif.  They finished in 39.86 seconds for third in their heat and the 10th-fastest time overall.  They broke the previous CSF record of 40.10 set in 2016 and became the first Titan 4x100 group to qualify for nationals since 2003.

The Long Beach State 4x400 women established a new program standard at the Big West Championships, winning in 44.63 seconds.  The foursome of Azaria Hill, Ashleigh Chambers, Madison Golden and Courtne’ Davis nearly topped that mark at the West Preliminary, but settled for a 44.66 finish that put them in the top three of their heat and as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA’s.

Bender Seeks Strong Heptathlon Effort
Junior Hope Bender is ranked No. 2 all-time in the heptathlon at UC Santa Barbara thanks to a 5,725-point performance at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 19.  She trails only USA Olympian Barbara Nwaba in the record book.  Nwaba competed in the NCAA heptathlon twice (2010, 2012) during her career, placing second overall as a senior.  Bender broke Nwaba’s 100 meter hurdles record with a 13.33 performance at the NCAA West Preliminary, surpassing Nwaba’s 13.59 effort in 2012.  Although it’s not a heptathlon event, Bender also broke UCSB’s 400 meter hurdles record, clocking 58.02 at the Big West Championships in May.