LONG BEACH, Calif. - Rianna Goins won the 800-meter run and then anchored the winning 4x400 relay, and UC Davis was strong down the stretch as the Aggie women’s track and field team captured their fourth Big West Championship in the past five years on Saturday afternoon at Long Beach State.
The Aggies scored 113 points for a fourth-place showing in the men’s race, just one point behind third-place Cal Poly.
UC Davis held a two-point lead over UC Riverside in the women’s competition with three events remaining, but then picked a fourth-place from Catherine Li in the triple jump and then, led by Christine Hoffman’s third-place finish, added 11 points in the 5,000; the penultimate running event.
Mikaela Adolphus, Rochelle Nadreau, Emma Redick and Goins then raced to a win in the long relay, capping UC Davis’ title effort. The Aggies scored 135.5 points to outdistance UC Santa Barbara (118.5) and UC Riverside (118). Host Long Beach State (110) was fourth.
“Even when the other teams were coming up on them, they just found a way,” said head coach Rahn Sheffield. “That’s what being a champion is all about, finding a way, finding another door if one doesn’t open.”
Goins picked up the lone title for the Aggie women who had seven other top-five finishes on Saturday. The junior was in a tight battle with three other runners with 250 meters remaining but used a strong kick in the final 70 meters to cross the line first in 2:09.04.
“It’s all due to her toughness and her competitiveness,” said distance coach Devin Elizondo. “It was an amazing way to finish her championship; to win the 800 and then anchor the 4x4.”
Goins is the Aggies’ fourth straight champion in the 800, joining Lauren Wallace (2013), Shanie Landen (2014) and Raquel Lambdin (2015).
Adolphus scored 10 individual points for UC Davis with her second-place in the 200 (24.23, wind-aided) and then a seventh in the 400. Her time of 54.28 marked a PR for the freshman and solidified her No. 3 position on the Aggies’ all-time list.
Erinn Beattie tied for second in the high jump, sophomore Morgan Bertsch was fourth, Michaela Mundt took fifth in the hammer throw – jumping to No. 2 all-time with her career-best 189-11 – and steeplechase champion Erika Barr came back to take fifth in the 5,000. Li’s 40-0.5 triple jump was a season-best.
The Aggies scored in all but two running events and tallied at least 10 points in six of them.
UC Davis’ four team titles – all coming since 2012 – tie it with former Fresno State for fourth-most in Big West history. Only CSUN (9) has more among active league members.
“That tradition started with (former) coach Drew Wartenburg,” said Sheffield. “He did a great job.”
The Aggie men’s team was near the lead early in the meet but eventual winner Long Beach State (176 pts) pulled away from the field. That left UC Davis in a battle with UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly and CSUN for second place. In the end, the Gauchos (125) secured the spot with Cal Poly (114) and the Aggies close behind. CSUN (106) rounded out the top five.
UC Davis scored 56 points during Saturday’s competition with 30 of them coming in three field events. Pole vaulters Marc Toney and Forrest Hierholzer headlined the effort, finishing third and fourth, respectively, while both clearing 16-6.75. The pair were only separated in the standings by total misses but each moved into a tie for 10th on the program’s all-time list.
The triple jump crew added 13 points while securing half of the scoring positions. Freshman Drew Xandrine-Anderson went 49-1.5 to finish fourth, senior Basil Okoroike (49-00.25) was fifth, Max Cawley (48-4) was sixth and T.K. Dodds (46-10) was eighth. Cawley was competing in the event for just the second time this season.
The Aggies scored individual points in five track events, including fourth-places from Brian Thomas in the 400 (47.75) and Cody Nguyen in the 800 (1:51.75). Austin Goins took fifth in the 1,500 (3:51.34) and Amar Dholakia, after taking fourth in the 10,000 on Friday night, was seventh in the 5,000 (15:02.12) on Saturday.
Kyle Clancy brought home a seventh in the 110 high hurdles in 14.55 while moving up a spot to No. 7 all-time at UC Davis. For Clancy, the event brought a busy championship for him to an end. He accounted for 20 points which included two in last week’s decathlon, 10 for his winning high jump, six points for finishing third in the long jump, and then two for the hurdles.
“Kyle is a person that has fun in the heat of competition,” Sheffield said. “He’s accustomed to success. To see that kid, being a freshman, performing like he was doing and having fun at the same time, was incredible. He gave the crowd something to cheer about.”
The Aggies finished a spot higher than they did in 2015.
“The men really performed well,” said Sheffield. “The effort they put in today was incredible.”
UC Davis won four individual titles over the two days. Besides Goins, Barr and Clancy, the Aggies also got a hard-fought win by senior Trevor Halsted on Friday night in the 10,000.
“That’s a great title for Trevor,” said Elizondo. “It was a long time coming.”
The Aggie programs have now combined for 54 all-time individual titles.
UC Davis will now prepare for the NCAA West Prelims in two weeks in Lawrence, Kan.
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS
Long Beach, Calif. (hosted by Long Beach State)
Event winners and UC Davis finishers
TEAM (final) - 1. Long Beach State, 176; 2. UC Santa Barbara, 125; 3. Cal Poly, 114; 4. UC DAVIS, 113; 5. Cal State Northridge, 106; 6. Cal State Fullerton, 91; 7. UC Irvine, 61; 8. UC Riverside, 33.
100 - 1. Eli Penick, CS Fullerton, 10.33.
200 - 1. Andre McBride, CSUN, 21.19.
400 - 1. Darion Zimmerman, CS Fullerton, 47.46… 4. Brian Thomas, 47.75.
800 - 1, Shyan Vaziri, UCSB, 1:50.45… 4. Cody Nguyen, 1:51.35;
110HH - 1. Lloyd Sicard, UC Irvine, 13.64… 7. Kyle Clancy, 14.55.
400H - 1. Ryan Colebrook, Long Beach State, 51.69.
JT - 1. Darion Williams, UCSB, 63.53 (208-05).
TEAM (final) - 1. UC DAVIS, 129.5; 2. UC Riverside, 118; 3. Long Beach State, 110; 4. UC Santa Barbara, 106.5; 5. UC Irvine, 86.5; 6. Cal Poly, 66.5; 7. Cal State Northridge, 55; 8. Cal State Fullerton, 54; 9. Hawai’i, 53.f69-10)
100 - 1. Courtney Davis, Long Beach State, 11.50*.
200 - 1. Courtney Davis, Long Beach State, 23.65*… 7. Mikaela Adolphus, 24.23*.
1500 - 1. Tori Tsolis, UCSB, 4:20.53… 8. Rianna Goins, 4:40.25.
100H - 1. Megan George, UC Irvine, 13.33*.
400H - 1. India Owens, CS Fullerton, 59.65… 7. Emma Redick, 1:01.72.
SP - 1. Breana Jemison, UC Riverside, 17.36 (56-11.50)… 17. Morgan Dutura, 12.49 (40-11.75).