May 14, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis men captured wins in three field events while Marisa Parker won the hammer for the women as both Aggie teams took early leads after Saturday's opening competition at the NCAA Division I Independents Track and Field Championships at Woody Wilson Track.
UC Davis has 72 points after six scored events on the men's side, leading second-place North Dakota State which has 42. The Aggies scored 52 points in the women's race after five events, ahead of second-place Utah Valley State which has 28. Most of the points which will decide the championship, however, are up for grabs on Sunday's final day with finals scheduled for 14 men's events and 15 women's.
Senior Ryan Frank had a strong day for the Aggies in the field events, winning the hammer throw for 10 team points and then finishing second to teammate John Cunnie in the discus for eight more. Frank opened his day by winning the hammer throw with a personal-best mark of 193 feet, 10 inches, surpassing his previous best of 189-1 which he set last month at the Cal-Nevada Championships. His new mark also improved his No.6 position on the Aggies' all-time list.
Frank came back later with a runner-up finish in the discus where he was second with a mark of 162-9. He and Cunnie combined to score 18 team points in the event as Cunnie took first-place honors with a season-best distance of 162-11. The Aggies scored 39 of their team points in the discus and hammer alone as Chris Chisam took fourth in the discus (148-8) and Tyler Porter was eighth in the hammer (154-6).
The UC Davis men picked up their other win on the meet's first day in the long jump where senior Kyle Auclair won with a jump of 22-3, scoring 10 more team points for the Aggies. Grinil Khanna was fifth at 21-1.25. UC Davis' other points on Saturday in the men's race came from Matt Chisam and Max Padgett in the high jump and Will Merchad in the 10,000-meter run. Chisam and Padgett each went 6-3.50 with Chisam finishing second due to misses and Padgett earning fourth. Merchad was third in the 10K, crossing in 31:59.71 to secure six more team points.
The Aggie women tallied 52 points after the first day of competition, headlined by Parker's victory in the hammer. Parker nearly beat her season-best mark of 156-3 when she led a 1-2-3 UC Davis finish on Saturday with her winning distance of 154-10. Junior Kim Gleeson was second with a season-best throw of 151-6 while sophomore Judy Sheldon was third at 142-01.
UC Davis added 12 points in the discus where Gleeson followed her hammer throw performance with another second-place finish, this one at 140-4. Judy Sheldon was fifth in the event. The Aggies' high jumpers and long jumpers combined to score 22 team points as Stephanie Marks (5-4.25) and Chelsey mauck (5-2.25) were third and fifth, respectively, in the former event and Jade Myles (17-10.75) and Lauren Titterud (17-6.75) were fifth and seventh, respectively, in the latter.
With limited finals taking place on Saturday, most of the action surrounded preliminary races as teams attempted to get through as many competitors to Sunday's competition as possible, hoping to maximize point potential.
Among the qualifiers for the Aggie men, Josh Flexman moved on in both the 100 and 200, Kajari Burns advanced in both the 200 and 400, and Auclair and Alfred Gibbs qualified for the 100 and 400, respectively. Burns' time of 48.38 seconds in the 400 moved him to No.6 all-time at UC Davis. Other qualifiers include Matt See in the 800 and Matt Chisam in the 110 high hurdles.
UC Davis advanced three women through to finals in both the 100 and 200 with sophomore Danielle Green qualifying in both while posting the day's fastest time in the 100 with a season-best time of 12.26 seconds. Seante Baker was a double-qualifier for the Aggies as well, moving on in both the 200 and 400. Her time of 25.38 in the 200 improved her No.10 position on the Aggies' career leader list. Emily Azevedo and Laura Rombach were the other UC Davis qualifiers in the 100, Caroline Sheldon advanced in the 200 and Marisa Dixon qualified in the 400.
In the middle distance events, Kim Beeson was a double-qualifier in the 800 and 1,500, Marlene Avitia advanced through the prelims in the 800, and Kim Conley, Erna Forgo and Carolyn Menard moved on in the 1,500. Conley had the day's fastest time in the 1,500 at 4:44.91. The Aggies' final qualifiers were in the hurdles where Emily Azevedo, Caroline Sheldon and Gretchen Haussler advanced in the 100 hurdles and Rochelle Carter, Amy Purtle, Jessica Lorson and Natalie Russell moved on in the 400 hurdles. Carter had the fastest time in the prelims at 1:01.78 while Purtle's clocking of 1:02.77 puts her 10th all-time at UC Davis.
Competition on Sunday begins with the women's javelin at 9 a.m. Running events begin with the women's steeplechase at 10:30 a.m. and conclude with the men's 4x400 at 2:35.
The NCAA Division I Independents Championships are open to teams not affiliated with a conference championship.