April 25, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - With the Big West Track and Field Championships two weeks away, both the UC Davis men's and women's teams will begin to turn up their competitive gears on Friday when they host rival Sacramento State in the Causeway Dual at Woody Wilson Track.
Competition in the field events starts at 2 p.m. with the hammer throw which will conducted near the Schaal Aquatics Center on the west end of the UC Davis campus. Events at Woody Wilson Track begin with the women's javelin at 2:45 p.m.
Admission is free.
Field events continue until running competition kicks off with the women's 4x100 at 6 p.m. The always exciting 4x400 relays cap the Causeway Dual beginning at 8:50 p.m.
Aggie head coach Drew Wartenburg says the scored meet comes at a good time on the schedule considering what lies ahead throughout May.
"Having the Causeway Dual placed at this point in our season serves a dual purpose," he said. "It's a rivalry meet between our two programs that we look forward to each season but it also helps us look at our athletes in some competitive situations as we really get ready for the postseason.
"It turns the emphasis from simply posting marks and times to making it about points and places," he said.
Much of the season is spent chasing quality marks, not just for Big West Championship qualifying, but also with eyes toward the NCAA West Regional scheduled for the end of next month. Friday's meet is just the second scored meet for the Aggies this season, joining the Mondo Mid-Major at Sacramento State earlier this month.
The Aggie women will enter the Big West meet on May 10 as defending champion while the men will be looking to climb the final standings. Wartenburg said good team chemistry is important for both team's goals and the Causeway Dual helps foster that approach..
"In this day and age when they are so few scored meets, getting the mentality of competing as a group for points and toward a common total is something we actually have to practice and this is a context that allows us to do that, which is important," he said.
Sacramento State swept both meets at home last year and hold a 6-0-1 series advantage on the men's side and a 5-2 lead on the women's. Last season's men's dual was an exciting one that stayed close until late in the meet. The Hornets won 99-92 while the women were victorious 102-86. The duals began in 2005.
The Aggie women enter the weekend with 15 marks currently ranked among the top 48 of the NCAA West Region. The top 48 will qualify for the regional meet scheduled for the University of Texas. Lauren Wallace is sixth in the 800 (2:04.89) while Katie Fry is 10th in the steeplechase (10:16.46). Ethan Ostrom is 20th in the pole vault (17-2.75) to lead two UC Davis men ranked highly.
Friday's meets are also worth five points each toward the 2012-13 Causeway Cup presented by ScholarShare. UC Davis currently leads 57.92-30.42.