FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton men's and women's track and field had a strong first day of competition at the Big West Track and Field Championships that are being hosted by Cal State Northridge. Nicole Clark made CSF history on Friday as she became the first Titan to ever win a conference title in the women's javelin.
Clark won the competition with a toss of 151-2 (46.08m), becoming the first Titan in program history to win the Big West Championship in that event. Clark's first throw was her best one of the six attempts she took. She secured the lead with that throw and never looked back. Even Clark's second-best throw of 149-2 (45.47m) would have been good for the title as the second-place overall finisher had a toss of 147-11 (45.10m). Kelsey McKelvey also scored as she took seventh place with a toss of 131-1 (39.97m).
The top eight individual and relay finishers in each event are scored in a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 format. After day one, with seven of 21 women's events scored, CSF sits in fourth place with 35 points. Cal Poly has 53 points in the lead, UC Davis has 40 and UC Riverside is third with 39 points.
"We have to crush it tomorrow on the women's side," head coach John Elders said. "Overall it was a good day today and we have some good point potential. A third-place finish would be the best in program history so I think we are more than capable of at least reaching third place."
On the men's side, seven of 21 events have been scored and CSF sits in fifth place with 33 points. Long Beach State has 56.5 in first place, Cal Poly has 49 in second place and UC Davis has 48 in third place.
"I thought the first day went well and I think we set ourselves up well for tomorrow," Elders said. "It should be very competitive. For the men, Anthony Cable was huge with his placement in the long jump, which was big for us. So I think we had a productive day, I wouldn't call it a great day but it was a good day. We have a lot point potential tomorrow and if we have a good day we have a shot to defend our title."
Edwin Matthews cleared 6-9 (2.06m) in the high jump to earn a runner-up finish in the event. He cleared the same height as the winner but had more misses. Matthews still tacked on eight points to the men's team total. Jahni Newhauser also scored a point for the Titans as he cleared 6-5 (1.96m) to take eighth place.
Gabrielle De La Rosa earned a runner-up finish in the women's 3K steeplechase with a time of 10:38.58. Pamela Pelayo also scored CSF as she took 7th place with a time of 11:10.76. In the men's 3K steeplechase, Danny Ramirez took second place with a time of 9:11.15 and Jorge Sanchez finished third at 9:14.01. Sam Pimentel finished in fifth place in the men's 10K with a time of 34:02.03. He added four points to the men's team total.
Sierra Valdivieso took 4th place in the discus with a toss 149-8 (45.63m), adding five points to the women's team total. Bryn Williamson had a clearance of 12-7.5 (3.85m) in the women's pole vault to earn fourth-place finish and score five points for the team.
Tanner Miller scored two points for the men's squad as he earned a seventh-place finish in the hammer throw with a toss of 179-8 (54.77m). Later in the day, Miller also scored for CSF in the shot put as he had a personal-best mark of 53-0.75 (16.17m) to take sixth place overall.
Naiah Boardingham earned a seventh-place finish in the women's long jump with a mark of 19-1.5 (5.83m, +1.9 wind) to score two points for the squad. Anthony Cable's wind-aided mark of 23-7.5 (7.20m, +2.2 wind) was good for seventh place in the men's long jump and an additional two points to the team's tally.
Brianna Jacklin earned an eighth-place finish in the women's 10K with a time of 37:38.14 to add a point to squad's total.
Samantha Huerta (4:36.87), Trinity Ruelas (4:38.86) and Sandra Flores (4:39.35) all qualified for the final of the women's 1,500-meter race. That final will take place on Saturday at 2:21 p.m. In addition, Huerta posted the top preliminary time in the 800-meter race at 2:11.28 to automatically qualify for Saturday's final at 3:25 p.m. PT. Flores also qualified with a time of 2:15.56.
Rasaun House (10.61, +1.6 wind), Luis Matos (10.65, +1.3 wind) and Thaddeus Smith (10.67, +1.3 wind) all advanced to the final of the men's 100-meter dash on Saturday at 3:17 p.m. PT. That trio of House (21.40, +0.6 wind), Smith (21.53, +0.6 wind) and Matos (21.62, -0.1 wind) all advanced to the final of the 200 meters as well on Saturday at 4:05 p.m.
Diego Courbis, the reigning champion, clocked a season-best time of 53.33 that was good for 2nd overall in the preliminary round and he automatically qualified for Saturday's men's 400-meter hurdles at 3:50 p.m. Charles Kelly also qualified with a time of 55.28. Tyler Hardge's time of 62.97 was good for a spot in Saturday's women's 400-meter hurdles final at 3:43 p.m. PT.
Three Titans will be in the final of the men's 110-meter hurdles tomorrow. Mason Guzman-Sanchez (14.31, +1.3 wind), Sam Schubert (14.57, +1.3 wind) and Charles Kelly (14.57, +1.4 wind) all qualified for the Titans. The final is set for 2:48 p.m. on Saturday.
In the women's 400 meters, Kiana Clay (55.62) and Zuri Henderson (55.68) qualified for the final on Saturday at 2:57 p.m. PT. Clay also clocked a 200-meter time of 24.59 (+0.8 wind) to advance to Saturday's final at 3:59 p.m. On the men's side, Marcel Espinoza's 400-meter time of 47.73 was good for a spot in Saturday's final set for 3:03 p.m.
The second and final day of competition begins at 9 a.m. PT on Saturday with the field events and 2:08 p.m. for running events.
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