May 17, 2014

Matador Women Lead After Day One of Big West Championships; Men Sixth

DAVIS, Calif. - The Long Beach State men and Cal State Northridge women grabbed first place to conclude Friday's Big West Track and Field Championships at Woody Wilson Track.

On the women's side, Cal State Northridge captured the top spot with 72 points through eight scoring events.  Two-time defending champion UC Davis owned second place with 53 points and UC Santa Barbara followed with 41.  The next four teams in the women's standings are clustered together, starting with Hawai'i in fifth (27), Long Beach State and Cal Poly (26) tied for sixth and UC Riverside eighth (24).  Cal State Fullerton is ninth with six points.

"The team really came out and competed hard," said CSUN head coach Avery Anderson. "They did what I asked of them, to give themselves a shot. The throwers did a great job today and helped us a great deal. In the sprints and hurdles we've positioned ourselves according to what we should have done."

The 49ers amassed 58 points for the lead, while Cal Poly collected 51.5 points for second place.  UC Santa Barbara sits in third with 45 points and UC Riverside is fourth with 34.  Fifth place is occupied by host UC Davis (27), while Cal State Northridge (26.5), Cal State Fullerton (24) and UC Irvine (7) round out the men's standings. LBSU is seeking its second straight Big West title and fifth in the last nine years.

The majority of Friday's competition focused on the prelims, but teams accumulated points in various field events as wells as the steeplechase and 10000-meter run.  The men completed field events in the hammer, long jump, shot put and high jump, while the women squared off in the hammer, javelin, pole vault, long jump and discus. Highlighting the action was the performance of Cal Poly senior Sean Davidson in the 10,000-meter run.  He eradicated the Big West meet record with a time of 29:08.24, shattering the previous mark of 29:51.60 held by Gus Quinonez of UC Irvine since 1987.  The time ranks No. 27 nationally.  Second place finisher Chris Enriquez of Long Beach State (29:12.46) and Davidson's teammate, senior Chris Frias (29:24.44) also broke Quinonez's record. UC Davis notched its third straight victory in the women's 10000-meter run as sophomore Christine Hoffmann won in 36:30.70.

The Aggies picked up 20 points alone in that event with Shannon Harcus, Hannah Kirkegaard and Nicole Lane finishing fourth, fifth and eighth, respectively. Cal Poly sophomore Nick Woolf won the men's 3000-meter steeplechase for the second straight year, improving upon his 2013 mark (9:01.33) with a time of 8:55.97.  The Mustangs doubled up in the steeplechase with senior Diana George winning the women's race in 10:40.18. In the men's field events, UC Riverside senior Caleb Stuart was victorious in the hammer and shot put.  Stuart, who won the hammer in 2012, became a two-time champion in the event with a heave of 219-03.  Stuart also threw 58-08 in the shot put to capture gold and record the Big West's best mark overall in 2014. The Highlanders also rode the performance of senior Ted Hooper, who became the first three-time long jump champion in Big West history after clearing 24-07.25.

Cal State Northridge freshman Lohnnie Tape-Jackson posted a 6-09.00 in the high jump for first place. The women's field events featured a pair of victories from UC Irvine.  Senior Lacey Surak won gold for the second time in the javelin as she tossed 152-03.  Junior Itos Aikhionbare became the first Anteater to capture first in the discus since 1985 as the Big West leader in the discus recorded a mark of 167-09. UC Riverside junior Danielle Littleton took first place in the long jump with a distance of 20-03.50, outdistancing teammate Phoenisha Schuhmeier, who won the event in 2013 but finished third this year (19-06.00). Long Beach State junior Fatima Vergara hurled 189-04 in the hammer to give the 49ers 10 first-place points. Freshman Holly Tokar of UC Davis won the pole vault with a personal-best mark of 13-00.25 that helped the Aggies shave points off of Cal State Northridge's lead.

The 2014 Big West Track and Field Championships continue Saturday with the men's javelin and women's triple jump kicking off the action at noon.  Prime Ticket will provide live television coverage from 2:00-6:00 p.m with Justin Alderson (play-by-play), Milena Glusac (color) and Lindsey Thiry (sideline) on the call.

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