May 28, 2009

Matadors Set For NCAA West Regional at Oregon's Hayward Field

May 28, 2009

Northridge Regional Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

NORTHRIDGE EARNS 24 SPOTS IN NCAA WEST REGIONALS The Cal State Northridge men's and women's track and field teams head to the NCAA West Region Championships beginning Friday, May 29. After hosting the West Regional in 2008, the Matadors will head up the coast as the two-day championship meet takes place at Oregon's historic Hayward Field. The Regional Championship opens with the men's javelin on Friday at 2:40 p.m. and concludes on Saturday with the men's 4x400 relay at 4:50 p.m. The Northridge women are coming off their fourth consecutive Big West Championship, while the Matador men won their second in the last three years.

NCAA West Region Championship Central

MEET RESULTS Live meet results following each event of the NCAA West Region Championships will be posted on the West Regional page at www.GoDucks.com with complete results available at the end of each day.

WEST REGIONAL PREVIEW 24 Matadors will attempt to finish among the top five finishers (and top three relay teams) among the 19 men's and women's events that will be contested at the NCAA West Regional and advance on to the NCAA Championships June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark. A top-five finish at one of the four NCAA regionals being conducted around the country this weekend is the only way to guarantee a trip to the national championships. Beyond that, those finishing sixth through 12th this weekend will be eligible for an "at-large" bid to the championships. Those bids are based on the national descending order list, and will be announced by noon on Tuesday, June 2. Additionally, the decathlon, heptathlon and the men's and women's 10,000 meters are exempt from Regional qualifying. Those with automatic marks advance straight to Fayetteville; those with provisional marks go into the at-large pool, with bids being extended on June 2.

MATADOR MEN'S PREVIEW Senior Rolando Felizola and sophomore Reindell Cole lead a contingent of 12 Matador men into the NCAA West Regional this weekend. Felizola, the Big West Field Athlete of the Year, will compete in both the triple jump and long jump while Cole brings the second-best long jump mark in the West Region into the competition. Also in the field events, junior Derek Cooper will compete in both the shot put and discus after defending his Big West discus title two weeks ago. Fellow throwers Cody Pearce (hammer) and Lance Gonzales (javelin) will also look to advance to the NCAA Championships as will sophomore Thomas Johnson in the high jump. On the track, junior De'Shawn Waters, the Big West Track Athlete of the Year, brings in the fourth-best time in the 100 meters (10.42) and the eighth-best time in the 200 meters (21.20). Fellow junior Robert Robinson will compete in the 110 hurdles and the Matadors will also be represented in the 4x100 meter relay.

MATADOR WOMEN'S PREVIEW The Northridge women's contingent of 12 will again be led by Big West 100 and 200 meter champion Sherrina Lofton. Lofton ranks seventh in the 100 meters (11.57) and will also be available to run in the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. Fellow junior Shelese Ruffin looks to improve on her Big West championship run in the 400 meters as she is the fifth-ranked sprinter in the event with a time of 53.53. Redshirt freshman Precious Watkins will also represent the Matadors in the 100 meters as she comes in with the 15th-best time (11.74). Moving on the field events, Ruffin will pull double duty as she competes in the long jump along with teammate Candyce Babb, who is making her fourth apperarance in the Regionals. Sophomore Stella Dugall makes her Regional debut in the triple jump as she comes in with the seventh-best mark (12.74). Northridge will be represented in the throwing events by junior Stephanie Ralls in the javelin and sophomore Whitney Hooks in the shot put. Ralls comes in ranked 11th in the javelin with a season-best of 48.54 while Hooks rabks 15th in the shot put with a mark of 14.37.

CAPSULES OF MATADORS COMPETING AT THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL

Reindell Cole, Sprints/Jumps, 6-3, Sophomore, Las Vegas, Nev., Desert Pines HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Cole makes his second consecutive trip to the NCAA Regional in the long jump and will also be a part of the Matadors' 4x100 relay team ... posted a season-best of 25-9.50 (7.86) at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (Apr. 2) and comes in ranked second to Arizona's Luis Rivera-Morales (7.95) in the Regional ... owns a lifetime-best of 26-9.75 (8.17) set during the 2008 season ... finished sixth in the long jump at the 2008 NCAA Regional in Northridge ... also is among six Matador sprinters in the pool for the 4x100 relay ... Northridge is ranked sixth in the region with a top time of 40.49.

Derek Cooper, Throws, 6-2, Junior, Las Vegas, Nev., Desert Pines HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Cooper qualifies for his third NCAA West Regional in both the shot put and discus ... defended his Big West discus title with a mark of 171-7 (52.31) ... threw a season-best 171-10 (52.37) at the Northridge Invitational (Mar. 14) which ranks 15th out of 18 discus throwers in the Regional ... finished second in the Big West shot put and brings a season-best of 58-0.25 (17.68) which eighth out of 13 throwers ... 57-2 (17.42) ... owns a lifetime-best of 186-5 (56.83) in the discus and 59-2.75 (18.05) in the shot put ... finished seventh in the discus and eighth in the shot put in the 2008 NCAA Regional and was 18th in the discus in 2007.

Rolando Felizola, Jumps, 6-1, Senior, Downey, Calif., Downey HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Felizola reaches his third NCAA West Regional in both the triple jump and long jump ... captured Big West titles in both events in 2009 ... ranks fifth in the triple jump with a season-best of 51-7.25 (15.73) and ranks 11th in the long jump with a mark of 24-6.25 (7.47) ... placed third in the long jump with a leap of 24-10 (7.57) at the 2007 Regionals in Oregon ... was eighth in the triple jump ... finished 10th in the long jump and 12th in the triple jump at the 2006 NCAA Regionals.

Lance Gonzales, Throws, 5-11, Junior, Murrieta, Calif., Murrieta Valley HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Gonzales makes his NCAA Regional debut in the javelin in 2009 ... threw a season-best 209-2 (63.76) to win his first Big West championship and comes in ranked 14th in the Regional.

Thomas Johnson, Jumps, 6-1, Sophomore, Lancaster, Calif., Antelope Valley HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Johnson will be making his NCAA Regional debut in the high jump ... cleared a career-best 6-10.75 (2.10) at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (Apr. 10) ... is tied for ninth among 17 high jumpers in the Regional field ... tied for third at the Big West Championships after clearing 6-8.25 (2.04).

Kevin Nious, Sprints, 5-11, Senior, Alameda, Calif., Alameda HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Nious makes his NCAA Regional debut as he will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 40.55 and comes in ranked sixth in the Regional (40.49) ... ran a season-best of 11.02 in the 100 at the Tiny Lister Classic (Apr. 25).

Cody Pearce, Throws, 6-2, Senior, Folsom, Calif., Folsom HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Pearce qualifies for his fourth straight NCAA Regional in the hammer throw ... threw a season-best 192-11 (58.80) at the Asics/Steve Scott Invitational (May 3) and comes in ranked 23rd in the Regional ... owns a career-best throw of 195-1 (59.47) ... finished 22nd (186-6) in 2008, 21st (180-3) in 2007 and 18th (175-6) in 2006.

Robert Robinson, Hurdles, 6-5, Junior, Los Angeles, Calif., Santa Monica HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Robinson qualifies for his first NCAA West Regional in the 110 meter hurdles ... ran a lifetime-best 14.23 to finish third at the Big West Championships ... comes into the Regional ranked ninth among 14 hurdlers.

Ben Santos, Sprints, 5-8, Junior, Galt, Calif., Galt HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Santos makes his NCAA Regional debut as he will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 40.55 and comes in ranked sixth in the Regional (40.49) ... ran a season-best of 10.65 in the 100 at the Mt. SAC Relays (Apr. 18).

Nic Taylor, Sprints, 5-10, Junior, Hayward, Calif., Mt. Eden HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Taylor makes his NCAA Regional debut as he will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 40.55 and comes in ranked sixth in the Regional (40.49) ... ran a lifetime-best 10.91 in the 100 meters at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational (Apr. 11).

De'Shawn Waters, Sprints, 6-0, Junior, Hercules, Calif., Hercules HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Waters qualifies for his first NCAA Regional in both the 100 and 200 meters as well as the 4x100 relay ... comes in ranked fourth in the 100 meters and eighth in the 200 meters ... ran a season-best of 10.42 in the 100 at the Mt. SAC Relays (Apr. 18) and a wind-aided best of 21.20 in the 200 meters at the Cal-Nevada Championships (Mar. 29) ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 40.55 and comes in ranked sixth in the Regional (40.49).

Michael Woodham, Sprints, 6-2, Freshman, Phoenix, Ariz., Mountain Pointe HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Woodham makes his NCAA Regional debut as he will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 40.55 and comes in ranked sixth in the Regional (40.49) ... ran a lifetime-best 10.87 in the 100 meters as part of the multi-events at the Big West Championships in May.

Candyce Babb, Jumps, 5-6, Senior, Ontario, Calif., Pomona HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Babb qualifies for her fourth consecutive NCAA West Regional in the long jump ... she also earned a berth in 2005, 2006 and 2007 ... posted a regional qualifier of 19-9.75 (6.04) at the Asics/Steve Scott Invitational on May 3 and ranks 13th in the West Region ... brings a lifetime-best of 20-7.25 (6.28) into the Regionals ... finished a personal-best eighth in the 2005 NCAA Regionals ... finished third in the 2009 Big West long jump as Northridge swept the top three spots.

Dominique Calvin, Sprints, 5-7, Senior, Littlerock, Calif., Littlerock HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Calvin will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 44.88 and comes in ranked fifth in the Regional ... ran a season-best 11.86 in the 100 meters t place third at the Big West Championships which is just .02 off her her lifetime-best of 11.84 ... this is Calvin's third appearance at the NCAA West Regionals, the others were in 2007 and 2008.

Jasmine Cox, Sprints, 5-6, Freshman, Antioch, Calif., Deer Valley HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Cox will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x400 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:40.43 and comes in ranked ninth in the Regional ... ran her lifetime-best in the 400 meters (55.31) at the Cal-Nevada Championships on Mar. 29.

Vanice Colbert, Sprints, 5-3, Junior, Fairfield, Calif., Fairfield HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Colbert will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 44.88 and comes in ranked fifth in the Regional ... ran her lifetime-best of 12.65 in the 100 meters (55.31) at the USC Trojan Invitational on Mar. 21.

Stella Dugall, Jumps, 5-6, Sophomore, San Jose, Calif., Mt. Pleasant HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Dugall qualifies for her first NCAA West Regional in the triple jump ... comes in with a career-best leap of 41-9.75 (12.74) which ranks seventh in the Regional ... finished third at the Big West Championship after posting her career-best mark.

Jackie Harrison, Sprints, 5-6, Freshman, Union City, Calif., James Logan HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Harrison will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x400 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:40.43 and comes in ranked ninth in the Regional ... ran her lifetime-best in the 400 meters (55.02) at the Big West Championships (May 29) where she finished fourth.

Whitney Hooks, Throws, 5-10, Sophomore, Everett, Wash., Cascade HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Hooks qualifies for her second consecutive NCAA West Regional in the shot put ... finished 15th last season with a throw of 46-3.50 (14.11) ... posted a 2009 season-best of 47-1.75 (14.37) and ranks 15th in the Regional ... finished third in the shot at the Big West Championship after throwing 45-8 (13.92).

Sherrina Lofton, Sprints, 5-8, Junior, Fairfield, Calif., Fairfield HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Lofton qualifies for her second straight NCAA West Regional in the 100 meters and both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays ... ran a lifetime-best 11.57 in the 100 meters at the Cal-Nevada Championships (Mar. 29) and comes in ranked seventh in the West Region ... the Matadors' 4x100 won the Big West title in a time of 44.88 and comes in ranked fifth in the Regional while the 4x400 relay ranks ninth with a time of 3:40.43 ... won both the 100 and 200 meters at the Big West Championships ... finished eighth in the 100 and sixth in the 200 at the 2008 NCAA West Regional in Northridge.

Tara Prier, Sprints, 5-5, Sophomore, Houston, Texas, Alief Taylor HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Prier qualifies for her second NCAA West Regional as part of the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams ... earned a berth in the 400 meters in 2008 but did not reach the event final ... ran a lifetime-best 11.85 in the 100 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays (Apr. 18) and has a season-best of 55.04 in the 400 meters ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:40.43 ... the Matadors' 4x100 relay team also won conference in a time of 44.88 and comes in ranked fifth in the Regional.

Stephanie Ralls, Throws, 5-9, Junior, Deer Island, Ore., St. Helens HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Ralls qualifies for the NCAA West Regional in the javelin for the third straight year ... finished second as a sophomore in 2008 and was 14th as a freshman in 2007 ... advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships where she finished 10th with a career-best throw of 165-5 (50.43) ... ranks 11th out of 20 throwers with a season-best 159-3 (48.54) ... placed second in the Big West Championship after throwing 145-8 (44.40).

Shelese Ruffin, Sprints, 5-7, Junior, Banning, Calif., Beaumont HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Ruffin qualifies for the NCAA West Regional for the second straight season in the 400 meters and is also in contention to be part of Northridge 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams ... ran a lifetime-best 53.53 to win her second straight 400 meter Big West championship ... her time ranks fifth out of 18 competitors at the Regional ... Northridge won the Big West title in both the 4x100 (44.88) and 4x400 (3:40.43) relays ... comes in ranked fifth in the 4x100 and ninth in the 4x400.

Precious Watkins, Sprints, 5-4, Freshman, Moreno Valley, Calif., Rancho Verde HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Watkins is making her debut in the NCAA Regionals ... qualifies in the 100 meters and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays ... ran a lifetime-best 11.74 at the Big West Championships and ranks 15th in the West Region ... ran the opening leg of Northridge's Big West champion 4x100 relay that has the fifth-best time in the West Region at 44.88.

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