May 21, 2014
IRVINE, Calif. - Ashley Marshall and Holly Tokar, who each won conference titles last weekend, were named the Big West Track Athlete of the Year and Women's Freshman of the Year, respectively, while Drew Wartenburg was selected the Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year, it was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Marshall received the honor for the second consecutive year while Wartenburg earned his third straight coaching honor.
Marshall, a junior from Moreno Valley, has posted another outstanding season for the Aggies this spring. She successfully defended her Big West titles in the 100- (11.36) and 200-meter (23.85) dashes at last weekend's Big West Track and Field Championships at UC Davis. She narrowly missed the meet record in the 100 (11.34) that she set last year while her victory in a closely contested 200 came by just .01.
She was also part of the Aggies' runner-up relay that set a school record earlier this year when it went 45.02 seconds against rival Sacramento State at the Causeway Classic Dual. Marshall will race in all three of her events at next week's NCAA Prelim Meet at the University of Arkansas, looking to advance to the NCAA Finals in at least the 100 for the second consecutive year.
Tokar, a freshman from Ventura, used the home crowd last weekend to help lift her to the Big West pole vault championship after clearing 3.97 meters, or 13 feet, 0.24 inches, to beat her previous best by 3.5 inches. She improved her No. 3 all-time standing in the event at UC Davis while becoming just the third Aggie vaulter to clear 13 feet in her career.
Tokar is the first pole vaulter to win Big West Freshman of the Year honors since Cal State Northridge's Tiana Webberley in 2010. She's also qualified for the regional meet.
Wartenburg earned his third coach of the year honor, matching the number of seasons he's been the program's head coach. He led the Aggies to their third consecutive Big West Championship, making them the first team to do that since Cal State Northridge won six in a row between 2006-11.
The Aggies were dominant at last week's conference meet when it came to individual titles, capturing first-place finishes in eight events including six during Saturday's portion of the meet. UC Davis tallied 194 points - its highest total since joining the Big West - and beat second-place Cal State Northridge by 10.67 points.
Cal Poly's Chris Frias earned men's track honors while Caleb Stuart of UC Riverside was the top men's field athlete. UC Irvine's Lloyd Sicard was named freshman of the year while Andy Slythe of Long Beach State was selected coach of the year. Itos Aikhionbare of UC Riverside was named the top women's field athlete.
The Aggies are now preparing for next week's NCAA West Prelim Meet which runs from May 29-31 in Fayetteville, Ark.