May 11, 2013
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Sophomore Ashley Marshall won two conference titles, setting school records and hitting IAAF World Championship qualifying standards in each, while Lauren Wallace, Rocki Lambdin, Kayla Carter and Emily Bush and the Aggies' 4x400 relay each claimed championships, helping UC Davis women's track & field defend its team title at the 2013 Big West Conference Championships hosted by Cal State Northridge.
The Aggies dominated the team scoring on the women's side with 172.50 points, well ahead of second-place UC Santa Barbara at 128.50. The host Matadors finished in a close third with 127. On the men's side, Long Beach State maintained a comfortable cushion over UCSB for most of the day, winning with a 176.5 total. The UC Davis men finished eighth at 37.5.
"Today's championship outcome serves as a very satisfying conclusion to a year and season structured around the achievement of the highest team objective," said Aggie coach Drew Wartenburg. "The goal for our women's team was to bring both a balanced and deep lineup to the conference meet, and event outcomes went as projected for the most part."
Marshall posted a time of 11.34 seconds to dominate the women's 100 final, surpassing her previous mark of 11.39 set less than 24 hours prior in Friday's preliminary heat. That mark also tied the Big West record, last set by UNLV's Sonja Green 26 years ago - more than six years before Marshall was born. It also surpasses the `B' qualifying standards for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow. Teammate Melanise Chapman finished third at 11.56, crossing amidst a tight pack with Leshel Vines and Hafsatu Kamara of Cal State Northridge.
Then less than an hour later, Marshall struck again, this time breaking her day-old school record in the 200 with a winning time of 23.25. Marshall had gone 23.33 in Friday evening's prelim heat, which in turn bested her previous benchmark by two-tenths of a second. Additionally, she beat the world championships `B' requirement of 23.30 with that race. The 200 victory also stretched UC Davis' team lead to more than 40 points ahead of second-place Cal State Northridge, essentially clinching the meet title.
Wallace also broke her own school record with her winning 2:03.39 in the women's 800 final, lengths ahead of teammate and runner-up Shanie Landen, who crossed with a PR of 2:07.41. Lambdin also placed sixth in that event at 2:09.66, providing a 21-point push in the team standings. That trio holds the top three times in school history: Wallace and Landen with their respective times in Saturday's final, plus Lambdin's 2:07.54 at Arizona State. Wallace's time narrowly missed the meet record of 2:03.05, set four years ago by UC Riverside's Brenda Martinez.
Senior pole vaulter Emily Bush became the third Aggie of the day to break her own school record en route to a conference championship. She cleared 4.05 meters, or 13 feet, 3.5 inches to surpass the mark she first set at the 2012 Woody Wilson Invitational. Bush and CSUN junior Tiana Webberley both hit the same height but Bush won the title based on attempts. Oddly, Bush struggled early in the competition, requiring all three tries at her opening height of 3.50 meters but only missing twice during the next four rounds. Freshman Danielle Steffen added a third-place showing in that event, tying her PR of 3.80m (12-5.5). In contrast to Bush, she cruised through the 3.50, 3.65 and 3.80 rounds by hitting her vaults on the first try. However, she struck out at 3.95 to leave Webberley and Bush as the last remaining competitors.
The 4x400 relay of Cekarri Nixon, Landen, Tonie Williams and Wallace finished the meet with another combination of a conference title and a school record. That crew compiled a winning time of 3:37.89, a second and a half ahead of UC Santa Barbara's 3:39.46 and more than two full seconds faster than the previous UC Davis record of 3:40.57, set by Amber Taylor, Tanisha Silas, Rose Criss and Kameelah Elarms back in 2000.
Lambdin picked up the first Aggie title of Saturday's session when her time of 4:28.70 in the women's 1,500 edged UC Riverside's Damajeria Dubose by less than a quarter of a second. Junior Alycia Cridebring added third-place points with her 4:30.77 effort. The 16 total points in that event boosted UC Davis past UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Northridge for the team lead. Carter added another championship in the women's 100 hurdles in the very next running event. She posted a personal-record 13.77 to beat the UC Irvine duo of Megan Benson (13.86) and Paige Bushnell (13.92).
Meanwhile, junior Maurice Spikes and freshman Cody Nguyen were the highest-scoring Aggies on the men's side. Spikes finished third in the high jump with a 2.02-meter effort (6-feet, 7.5 inches), while Nguyen placed fifth in the 800 with a season-best 1:53.62. Senior Kaio Sena added seventh-place points in the 200 dash with a 22.07, his No. 2 time for the year.
Other highlights included Kellie Grigg and Carter becoming the third and fourth Aggies in program history to break the one-minute mark in the women's 100 hurdles. Grigg crossed in 59.20 with Carter close behind at 59.27. The last UC Davis woman to crack 60 seconds in the 400 hurdles was Hall of Famer Kameelah Elarms with her school-record 58.82 in 2001. Grigg and Carter finished 2-3 in that event, good for 14 team points.
Freshman Catherine Li also moved up among the program's all-time leaders during Saturday's triple jump. She went 12.12m (39-9.25) in her final attempt, winning the second flight, placing fourth overall and moving from eighth to a tie for fifth in the school record book.
The Aggies' lead was so large heading into the final events that head coach Drew Wartenburg scratched contenders Sarah Sumpter and Alycia Cridebring from the 5,000 to preserve them for the NCAA West Prelims. Cal Poly freshman Laura Hollander ended up dominating that event on her own with a time of 16:25.62.
In all, the Aggies claimed nine individual Big West Conference titles in 2013: Marshall in the 100 and 200, Lambdin in the 1,500, Carter in the 100 hurdles, Wallace in the 800, Bush in the pole vault, the 4x400 relay plus Katie Fry and Sumpter respectively in the steeplechase and 10K on Friday night.
"We benefited from some outstanding individual performances while also enjoying the opportunity to compete collaboratively in a number of events," Wartenburg said. "As the focus turns now toward the regional and national meets, our efforts to change the outlook that track season concludes at the conference championship should serve our athletes well."
UC Davis will now prepare for the NCAA West Region Championships at the University of Texas on May 23-25.
2013 BIG WEST CONFERENCE TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS, DAY 2
Hosted by Cal State Northridge.
All events are finals. Champions plus UC Davis competitors are listed.
WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES - 1. UC Davis, 172.5; 2. UC Santa Barbara, 128.5; 3. Cal State Northridge, 127; 4. Hawai'i, 76.5; 5. Long Beach State, 75; 6. Cal Poly, 71.5; 7. UC Riverside, 65.5; 8. UC Irvine, 57; 9. Cal State Fullerton, 45.5.
MEN'S TEAM SCORES - 1. Long Beach State, 176.5; 2. UC Santa Barbara, 152; 3. Cal Poly, 146; 4. Cal State Northridge, 115.5; 5. UC Riverside, 70; 6. UC Irvine, 58; 7. Cal State Fullerton, 56.5; 8. UC Davis, 37.5
MEN'S HAMMER - 1. Josh Villalobos, LBSU, 58.92m (193-4)... 8. Andrew Mo, 51.07m (167-7).
WOMEN'S JAVELIN - 1. Lacey Surak, UCI, 44.86m (147-2).
WOMEN'S TRIPLE JUMP - 1. Amanda Alvarez, Hawai'i, 12.88m (42-3.25 w: +0.0)... 4. Catherine Li, 12.12m (39-9.25 w: +2.0).
MEN'S TRIPLE JUMP - 1. Ryan Swafford, UCR, 15.96m (52-4.5 w: +0.2)... 8. Basil Okoroike, 14.26m (46-9.5 w: +1.5)
MEN'S HIGH JUMP - 1. Mitchell Haag, UCSB, 2.12m (6-11.5)... 3. Maurice Spikes, 2.02m (6-7.5).
MEN'S SHOT PUT - 1. Travis Smith, UCR, 18.38m (60-3.75)... 9. Ben Pardo, 15.14m (49-8.25).
MEN'S 4x100 RELAY - 1. Cal State Northridge (Harris, Horsley, Rucker, DiMartino), 40.00.
WOMEN'S 4x100 RELAY - 1. Cal State Northridge (Vines, Kamara, Lambert, Veale), 44.43... 2. UC Davis (Williams, Marshall, Nixon, Chapman), 45.25.
MEN'S 110 HURDLES (w: +0.0) - 1. Davon Wilson-Angel, LBSU, 13.98.
WOMEN'S 100 HURDLES (w: +0.0) - 1. Kayla Carter, UC Davis, 13.77.
MEN'S 400 - 1. Jordan Scott, UCSB, 46.44.
WOMEN'S 400 - 1. Jennifer Carey, UCSB, 52.29... 3. Cekarri Nixon, 53.41.
WOMEN'S DISCUS THROW - 1. Irene Kujore, UCSB, 50.70m (166-4)... 10. Praise Adesida, 43.76m (143-7)
MEN'S 100 (w: +0.0)- 1. Carl Horsley, CSUN, 10.46.
WOMEN'S 100 - 1. Ashley Marshall, UC Davis, 11.34... 3. Melanie Chapman, 11.60.
MEN'S 400 HURDLES - 1. Michael Koger, UCR, 51.36.
MEN'S 200 (w: +0.0) - 1. Carl Horsley, CSUN, 20.89... 7. Kaio Sena, 22.07 (w: +0.0).
WOMEN'S 5,000 - 1. Laura Hollander, Cal Poly, 16:25.62... 12. Christine Hoffman, 18:10.06.
MEN'S 4x400 RELAY - 1. UC Santa Barbara (Nguyen, Severiano, Martin, Scott), 3:09.84.
WOMEN'S 4x400 RELAY - 1. UC Davis (Nixon, Landen, Williams, Wallace), 3:37.89.