Matador Men and Women Lead Heading Into Final Day of Big West Championships

May 15, 2009

IRVINE, Calif. - Shelese Ruffin, Stella Dugall and Candyce Babb swept the women's long jump competition and Lilyana Morejon won the 10,000 meters to highlight Friday's action at the Big West Track & Field Championships. Northridge leads both men's and women's competition heading into the final day of competition at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine.

The Matadors (61.5 pts.) hold a slim 7.5 point lead over Cal Poly in the men's competition while UC Davis (35.5) is in third, Long Beach State (30) is in fourth, Cal State Fullerton (28) is fifth place with UC Santa Barbara (25) sixth, UC Irvine (21.5) seventh and UC Riverside (17.5) wrapping up the men's standings.

On the women's side, Northridge (76 pts.) holds a commanding lead over Cal Poly (43.5) and UC Davis (37.5). Cal State Fullerton is in fourth with 35 points, with UC Santa Barbara right behind the Titans with 27 points. Long Beach State (26.5), UC Irvine (15.5) and UC Riverside (12) complete the women's scoring.

The field events kicked off the day's competition with the men's hammer. Matt Lahti of the host Anteaters came away with the first 10 points for the home team as he put up a winning effort of 59.24 meters (194-04).

Cody Pearce opened the men's competition with a third place finish in the men's hammer. Pearce threw 188-1 (57.33) to earn six points.

In the women's javelin, defending champion Stephanie Ralls finished second with a toss of 145-8 (44.40) to earn eight points. Haylee Varner was fifth with a mark of 132-1 (40.27) to pick up four points and Claire Morgan finished seventh with a season-best throw of 122-5 (37.32) to pick up two points.

In the men's long jump, senior Rolando Felizola earned the Matadors 10 points as he won the competition with a season-best distance of 24-6.25 (7.47). Robert Robinson added six points with his third-place finish (24-0.75) and Lance Gonzales picked up two points with a seventh-place finish (23-0). Sophomore Reindell Cole, the defending Big West champion, fouled on all three of his jumps.

The women's long jump earned the Matadors 26 points as Ruffin, Dugall and Babb went 1-2-3. Ruffin jumped 19-7.50 (5.98) to earn the title while Dugall jumped a lifetime-best 19-5.25 (5.72) to take second and Babb was third at 19-4.75. Sherrina Lofton claimed seventh with a leap of 18-9.75.

Lilyana Morejon claimed her first Big West championship as she won 10,000 meters in a time of 35:00.32. Bobby Olivera ran the 10,000 meters on the men's side and placed eighth with a time of 30:52.53 to earn one point.

Derek Cooper finished second for the second straight season in the shot put as he threw 56-3.25 (17.15) to earn eight points. Mike Tull took fourth with a lifetime-best mark of 53-8.25 (16.36) to earn five additional points.

In the men's high jump. Thomas Johnson picked up 5.5 points as he tied for third place after clearing 6-8.25 (2.04). Jonathan Talkington added an additional point with a clearance of 6-6.25 (1.99).

Morgan rounded out the women's team scoring with a fourth place finish in the discus at 152-3 (46.41).

Friday's track prelims saw several Matadors qualify for Saturday event finals.

De'Shawn Waters posted the fastest time in 100 meter qualifying and was second in the 200 meters while Lofton was the fastest in the women's 100 prelims.

Also reaching event finals were Robinson and Michael Woodham in the men's 110 hurdles; Dugall and LaShandra Batiste in the women's 100 hurdles; Kevin Nious in the men's 400 meters; Jasmine Cox, Ruffin and Jackie Harrison in the women's 400 meters; Cole, Ben Santos and Woodham in the men's 100 meters; Precious Watkins, Tara Prier and Dominique Calvin in the women's 100 meters; Gustavo Hernandez in the men's 800 meters; Colbert and Batiste in the women's 400 hurdles; Nic Taylor and Nious in the 200 meters and Prier, Lofton, Watkins and Calvin in the women's 200 meters.

- GO MATADORS -

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