June 20, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - Five Aggies wrapped up their 2013 seasons by competing against the country's best athletes at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium Thursday. The four UC Davis women had hit `A' qualifying standards for the meet during a year highlighted by a Big West Conference team title.
Senior Sarah Sumpter posted the highest finish among the four Aggie women, placing 14th in the 10,000-meter final with a time of 34 minutes, 15.51 seconds. She led the second pack of runners for much of the race. Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan, who holds the American record of 30:22.22, dominated the race with a winning 31:43.20. Sumpter also had a familiar face among the pack, as UC Davis alumna Kaitlin Gregg crossed in 20th place at 36:30.30. Gregg ran track and cross country for the Aggies from 2005-10.
"An experience like this, in which our best college level athletes compete alongside some of the best professionals, whether domestically or abroad, can serve as a pivotal and enhancing moment in their young careers," said UC Davis head coach Drew Wartenburg.
Sophomore and second-team All-American Katie Fry was the first of the UC Davis contingent to finish her competition, placing 21st in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at 10: 27.34. Her field included Michigan State's three-time All-American Nicole Bush and 2012 Olympic finalist Bridget Franek.
Senior Lauren Wallace, the Aggies' lone first-team All-American at the NCAA Championships earlier in June, posted a time of 2:04.20 in her third-heat race. That marks the fifth time she has beaten the 2:05 standard this year.
In comparison, the school record entering the season was Rose Criss' 2:07.91 at the 2001 national meet. Alysia Johnson Montaño of ASICS, who placed fifth at the London Olympic Games last summer, led the prelims at 2:01.96.
Freshman Matthew Bender represented as the only Aggie male and only Junior division competitor. He fired an eighth-place effort in the discus throw of 53.67 meters, or 176-foot-1 in imperial units. Bender's collegiate best-throwing a 2.0 kilogram discus - was 51.00 (167-4) at the Mondo Mid-Major in April. (The Junior division at the USATF meet uses 1.75kg implements.) Alabama freshman Hayden Reed won the competition, firing a 62.84m throw in his first attempt.
An All-American honorable mention and the 2013 Big West Female Track Athlete of the Year, sophomore Ashley Marshall placed 20th in the first round of the 100-meter dash, missing advancement to the semifinals by four places. She crossed in 11.70 in a tough third heat that included Central Florida's Octavious Freeman, Saucony's Jessica Young and adidas' Charonda Williams.
"Our staff feels very fortunate to have had a talented and motivated group extend their seasons this deep into the summer, and both athletes an coaches alike are proud to represent UC Davis in a national setting," added Wartenburg.
The USATF championship meet continues through the weekend. UC Davis volunteer assistant and 2012 Olympian Kim Conley will race in the 5,000 at 1:22 p.m. PDT on Sunday.
2013 USA OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Drake Stadium (Des Moines, Iowa)
Day 2 of 5
UC Davis results only
100 (prelim) - 1. Barbara Pierre, Nike, 11.18... 20. Ashley Marshall, 11.698 (w: -1.4).
800 (prelim) - 1. Alysia Montaño, ASICS, 2:01.957... 22. Lauren Wallace, 2:04.20
Steeplechase (prelim) - 1. Nicole Bush, New Balance/Furman Elite, 9:54.41... 21. Katie Fry, 10:27.34.
10,000 (Final) - 1. Shalane Flanagan, Nike/Oregon TC Elite,31:43.20... 14. Sarah Sumpter, 34:15.51.
DT - (Juniors) - 1. Hayden Reed, Alabama, 62.84m (206-2)...8. Matthew Bender, 53.67m (176-1).