Matadors Primed for Saturday Challenge at Big West Track & Field Championships

May 13, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's track & field team had a solid opening day of the 2011 Big West Championships as the Matadors added 44 points to the 20 they scored last weekend in the heptathlon. CSUN takes a total of 64 points and a 15-point lead over second-place Long Beach State into Saturday's final day of competition.

The Matador men are currently in seventh-place after scoring 10.5 points on Friday.

In point scoring events on Friday, the Matador women earned 44 points and qualified a host of others for event finals on Saturday.

"We've got to keep going," said head coach Don Strametz. "The point of today was to get as many people into Saturday's finals. We don't have anything won, we had a solid first day but we've got to have a solid day again tomorrow."

Sophomore Tiana Webberley led the charge on Friday as she defended her Big West pole vault championship and posted a school record, personal-best and NCAA qualifying height of 13-1.75 (4.01) to earn 10 points. Webberley broke Krystal Quinn's record of 13-1.50 from 2008 on her second attempt then missed on three attempts at 13-3.50 (4.05). Jenna Hulion also picked up one point after finishing eighth with a best of 10-11.75 (3.35).

The Matadors also scored well in the long jump as Desirae Gonder finished second with a top jump of 19-7.50 (5.98) and Sherrina Lofton was third also at 19-7.50 (5.98). Both set new lifetime-bests and added 14 points to the women's total. Gonder's top jump came on her third attempt while Lofton jumped 5.98 on her second attempt before passing the rest of the way. Long Beach State's Phylicia Johnson pulled out the win by .01 after jumping 19-8 (5.99) on her fourth attempt.

CSUN added seven points in the javelin as Alisa Jenkins threw 123-2 (37.55) to finish fifth and pick up four points. The Matadors' leading javelin thrower, Haylee Varner finished seventh with a best of 121-7 (37.07) and Jordan DuFault was eighth after tossing a season-best 118-8 (36.17) to add one additional point.

Claire Morgan narrowly missed her season-best in the discus after throwing 146-3 (44.59) which was good for fifth-place and four points.

On the track, Zitlalic Ley finished 11th in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in a time of 11:31.55.

Friday's events were capped by the 10,000 meters and senior Lilyana Morejon finished as the runner-up for the second straight year. The 2009 champion ran 35:09.51 to earn eight points.

The Matador men picked up all their Friday points in two events, the high jump and long jump. In the high jump, senior Thomas Johnson finished tied for fourth at 6-8.75 (2.05) to earn 4.5 points while Jonathan Talkington was eighth at 6-4.75 (1.95) to add one point. Itua Oiyemhonlan finished just out of the scoring at 6-2.75 (1.09) to place 10th.

In the long jump, freshman Jory Rucker finished fourth after posting a lifetime-best 23-05.25 (7.14) to earn five points.

CSUN came away scoreless in the hammer as Cameron McAteer finished 11th with a top throw of 161-1 (49.09) and James Poet was 15th with a best of 145-6 (44.35).

In Friday prelims on the women's side, the Matadors advanced four to the 100 meter final on Saturday. Lofton clocked the best time in the field with a wind-legal season-best of 11.79. Precious Watkins also qualified in a season-best 11.90, while Sierra Brooks ran a season-best 12.02 and Briana Davis ran a season-best 12.15 to also reach the final.

Lofton, Brooks and Watkins also advanced to the 200 meter final as Lofton had the second-best qualifying time (24.23) while Brooks ran 24.72 and Watkins ran 24.87.

Jackie Harrison's time of 55.09 led a pair of Matadors into the 400 meter final as she finished third in the prelims. Jasmine Cox ran 55.93 to finish fifth to also reach the final while Lauren Michaels ran 59.50 but finished 16th.

Four Matador hurdlers advanced as Jenkins finished seventh in the 100 hurdles in 14.28 while Gonder was just behind in 14.35 to also qualify. Ashley Frazier moved into the 400 hurdles final after taking second in the prelims at 60.88. Shane Mullany-Banks completed the quartet as she was seventh in a time of 62.55.

The men also had similar success on the track Friday as 10 sprinters earned a spot in Saturday's finals. Freshman Carl Horsley led a strong CSUN charge in the 100 meters as five Matadors will be in the final. Horsley clocked a time of 10.58, the second-fastest of the day while De'Shawn Waters was third (10.64), David Reid was fourth (10.67), Sean Alfino was fifth (10.77) and Thomas Henry grabbed the eighth and final spot. Waters and Alfino were running their first 100 meter races of the outdoor season.

Reid, Horsley and Khalid Jones also reached the 200 final as Reid was second in 21.39 with Horsley third (21.39) and Jones again grabbed the final spot at 22.15. Jones and Trevor Carroll both advanced to the 400 final as Jones ran 48.80 to qualify fourth and Carroll was sixth in a season-best 48.99.

Micheal Woodham continued his solid season in the 110 meter hurdles as he qualified with the top time of 14.23. In the 400 hurdles, Bobby Workman narrowly missed qualifying as he placed ninth in 53.98.

The Matadors were not able to advance any of their three entrants in the 800 meters into the final as Gustavo Hernandez was 10th (1:54.59), Steven Gonzalez was 15th (1:58.33) and Jerrid Lewis was 16th (2:04.36). In the 10,000 meters, Juan Olea ran a lifetime-best 32:17.19 but finished 13th among 15 runners.