March 30, 2012
FRESNO, Calif. - The UC Davis men's and women's track and field teams will end a two-week break from competition when the Aggies take full squads and travel on Saturday for the Bulldog Invitational hosted by Fresno State.
The Aggies last competed at the Hornet Invitational on Mar. 17, stringing together 24 top-five finishes in the meet at Sacramento State. They'll be well-represented at Saturday's meet with 33 women and 32 men set to take part.
The break from action also allowed UC Davis to focus on final exams for winter quarter while continuing to train for key upcoming competition.
"We're hopeful that our decision to build a bye week in on the tail end of final exams has allowed for some necessary recovery before returning to competition," he said. "We've also stressed the need to come off spring break week hungry for the chance to perform and produce some results, given that we are on the cusp of the prime competitive season.
"Spring break has afforded a welcome degree of flexibility in scheduling training while also allowing coaches to have entire event groups present without any outside commitments or conflicts," he added. "This has been a great way to refocus attention on training, recovery and the ability to establish, or re-establish, positive routines as we head into the second half of the season."
Saturday's meet will begin with the hammer throw and javelin events at 2 p.m. at Warmerdam Field before the remaining field events and all of the running events begin at 5 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium at Buchanan High School.
The meet concludes with the 4x400 relays at 8:50 p.m.
UC Davis won four events at the Hornet Invitational earlier this month as Samantha Kearney (steeplechase), Jonathan Peterson (1,500), Sava Boyadjiev (100) and Ethan Ostrom (pole vault) all captured first-places. Additionally, Alycia Cridebring had an impressive effort in the 5,000, crossing in a pesonal-best time of 16 minutes, 46.36 seconds which places her No. 7 all-time at UC Davis.
Cridebring, whose time is currently fifth nationally, is part of an Aggie contingent in the 1,500 which will be particularly formidable on Saturday. Sarah Sumpter, currently second in the 5,000 in Division I, will also run the event and will be joined by Kearney, Krista Drechsler, Raquel Lambdin, Katie Fry, Kristine Lozoya, Shannon Harcus, Hilary Teaford and Kristin Arkin.
Boyadjiev will return to the 100 meters on Saturday while also taking part in the long jump while Ostrom will participate in the pole vault and Peterson will move from the 1,500 to the 5,000 for this week's meet.
Sixteen women and 15 men are scheduled to compete in at least two events at Fresno State. This is only the Aggies third outdoor meet of the season but Wartenburg said strong performances are key for success down the road.
"We've outlined plainly for the athletes that from here on out, access to good heats and flights at the better meets depends entirely on performances," he said. "Traveling to Fresno as an entire team is designed to create some positive synergy before our squad is split at other meets in April. The Bulldog Invitational and Causeway meet are two opportunities to use as a 'dress rehearsal for the team aspect of a conference championship setting."
The Aggies will return from Fresno after Saturday's meet and begin preparations for competition at Stanford and San Francisco State next week.