Aggies Head To UC Irvine for Big West Meet

Brock Bennett

May 10, 2012

Championship Website | Schedule | Live Results | Men's Start Lists | Women's Start Lists

IRVINE, Calif. - UC Davis will try to remain near the top of the conference ladder when the Aggies travel to Southern California on Friday and Saturday for the Big West Men's and Women's Track and Field Championships being hosted by UC Irvine for the second consecutive year.

The meet will feature several prelims on Friday afternoon along with finals in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs, and also four field events for each the men and women. Competition on the track starts at 2 p.m. and runs until approximately 7 p.m. while the men's hammer throw starts a busy day in the field at 9 a.m.

Saturday's high-enery final day will open with field events at 9 a.m. and the women's 4x100 on the track at 2 p.m. Finals will continue throughout the day, capped by the 4x400 relays which began at 4:40.

The Aggies enjoyed their best combined finish last season with the men placing second to tie their best-ever placing at the meet and the women mtaching theirs with a second consecutive third place. UC Davis made a run for the men's title, taking a lead during the latter portions of the meet, before Long Beach State was able to overtake it and finish first. Cal State Northridge successfully defended its women's championship.

The UC Davis women enter the meet with 19 marks currently ranked among the top five in the conference including two each from sprinter Melanise Chapman and distance standout Sarah Sumpter.

Chapman, the school-record holder in both the 10 and 200, leads the Big West in both those events. She went a wind-aided 11.59 seconds at last week's Sacramento State Open while going 24.13 in the 200 at the Mt. SAC Relays last month. She's entered in both those events this week and will run the second leg of the 4x100 relay.

Sumpter, named three times as the Big West Track Athlete of the Week, is entered with a difficult 5,000/10,000 double. She holds the league's top time in both events, finishing the 10K with a school-record time of 33:19.77 at Stanford in April and then later posting an impressive mark of 16:26.74 in the 5,000 at Mt. SAC.

Alycia Cridebringis also ranked in the top five of a pair of distance events including a Big West-best time of 4:23.75 in the 1,500 and a time of 16:30.23 in the 5,000 which only trails Sumpter's mark.

In the field events, Emily Bush (school-record 4.02 meters) and Lauren Radke (3.86 meters) lead a 1-2 Aggie ranking in the pole vault while senior Ashley Hearnis second in the discus (50.29 meters) and third in the hammer (56.17 meters).

The UC Davis men have eight marks that are among the top five in the Big West, led by Jonathan Peterson whose school-record times in the 5,000 (13:48.43) and 10,000 (28:50.45) are best in the conference. Peterson, who has eclipsted the "B" standard in the 5K for this summer's Olympic Trials, is not entered in the 10,000 but will run the 5,000 as well as the 1,500. Nathan Strumis also in the 1,500 where he ranks fourth.

The other rankings for the Aggies are in the field events where Igor Seriba is third in the triple jump (15.06 meters) and Brock Bennett is third in the javelin. Ethan Ostrom (pole vault), Robert Neely (long jump) and Brandon Greenberg(shot put) are also in the top five.

UC Davis won five individual titles last year with former standouts Ray Green (triple jump, long jump), Calvin Thigpen (10,000), Thomas Phillips (400 hurdles) and Chidinma Onyewuenyi (shot put).