Bulldogs Give Home Crowd Big Performances at Cal-Nevada
March 29, 2008
FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State proved itself to be a track and field program to contend with on Saturday as both the men and women's squads battled with UCLA, CSU Northridge and San Diego State for the Cal-Nevada Championship titles. After all 19 events concluded, the Bulldogs finished in the top three among participating schools.
The men's team placed second in the 20-team competition, scoring 165 points. UCLA defended its Cal-Nevada title from 2007 with a first place finish of 238 points. UC Davis came in third with 78.5 and CSU Northridge rounded out the top four. The Bulldog women came in third out of the 19 teams at the Cal-Nevadas, accruing 117 points behind San Diego State (175) and UCLA (124).
The first event of the day fared well for the Fresno State men. Senior Brian Vazquez registered a 198-5 (60.48m) in the hammer throw to take second in the event behind UCLA's Boldi Koczor. Oscar Rodriguez and Chris Witscher were right behind Vazquez in third and fourth place with tosses of 186-5 (56.83m) and 184-8 (56.28m). Rodriguez's throw is a new personal record, outdistancing his previous best by two feet.
The men's 4x100m relay of Gary Lee, Dondre McDonald, Val-Pierre Dai'Re, and Durran Moore set a season-best 41.25, taking second behind Cal State LA and edging out UCLA. Frank Sanders followed up the relay with a personal best 3:51.65 en route to bronze.
Lee continued to dominate the long jump, leaping 24-2.5 (7.72m) in the finals to win Fresno State's first individual championship at the Cal-Nevadas. Lee's qualifying mark of 25-3.9 is his new personal-best. Roy Phelps and Erik Fossen also brought in team points for the Bulldogs in the long jump, taking sixth and seventh with marks of 22-7 (6.86m) and 22-6.25 (6.88m) respectively.
Oscar Rodriguez threw a 54-3.75 (16.55m) in the shot put to earn sixth place for Fresno State. Freshman thrower Raul Gonzalez was the lone Bulldog in the discus, throwing a personal best of 160-6 (48.93m) for eighth place.
Roy Phelps earned points for the Bulldogs in the pole vault, clearing 15-7 (4.75m) to finish in sixth, just ahead of Lyle Quillen in seventh with the same clearance. Erik Fossen leapt over 6-8.75 (2.05m) for a new personal best and a sixth place finish in the high jump.
Back on the track, Frank Sanders put on a thrilling performance in the 1,500m run, coming from the back of the pack to take third in the run with a personal best of 1:51.48, three seconds faster than his previous PR.
Val-Pierre Dai'Re followed Sanders' performance with a strong bronze-finish in the following event, the 110m hurdles. Dai'Re ran a 14.39 in the race for a season-best, just .09 seconds shy of the NCAA Regional mark. In the 400m dash, Darryl Miller and Kenny Moon scored points for the Bulldogs. Miller had a season-best of 48.53 to take second while Moon took sixth at 49.46.
The 100m came next as freshman Dondre McDonald took silver with a time of 10.74. Just an hour after running a personal-best in the 1,500m, Sanders returned to the track for the 800m. Sanders ran another exciting race in the two-lap run, kicking up his speed in the final 200m to come from fourth place to win the race at 1:50.55, just .15 of a second from NCAA Regional qualification.
In the 400m hurdles, Kendrick Young earned a third place finish with an impressive finish at 53.88. Despite taking a tumble after hitting a hurdle, Dai'Re finished the 400m hurdles to finish in eighth and still earn some points for the Fresno State team.
The Bulldogs were well-represented in the 200m dash as McDonald, Durran Moore and Moon all competed in the finals. McDonald came in fifth at 21.65 for a new personal best and Moore and Moon took eighth and ninth respectively.
The final individual race of the day, the 3,000m steeplechase highlighted freshman Erik Garcia's talent. The freshman, who won the team's first points on Friday with a second-place finish in the 5,000m run, took second in the steeplechase to finish out individual competition.
The 4x400m relay saw a change of lineup as the Bulldogs tried new faces in the race and earned a second place finish at 3:15.92 as a result. The race finished out the two-day meet.
The women began the day with the hammer throw as well. After struggling to find her groove, junior Sharon Ayala threw a 193-0 (58.84m) on her final toss to take second place. Another junior, Grace Wiesmann took seventh with a mark of 172-0 (52.43m).
The running events began with the 4x100m relay as the Bulldog team of Rayna White, Christina Lopez, Katrina Arnold and Tiera Hilliard, took third in a photo finish against San Diego State and UCLA, timing in at 46.62. Roxanne Sellick's 4:43.26 in the 1,500m run earned her a second-place finish behind UC Davis's Lorin Scott who took the lead off the gun.
Back on the field, freshman Brooke Pighin won Fresno State's first individual title, topping her own personal best with a javelin toss of 157-2 (47.91m) to champion the event. Another freshman, Rosario Sanchez followed Pighin's lead, winning the shot put with a throw of 48-1.75 (14.67m). Kayla Xavier took fourth place in the event with a toss of 44-6.75 (13.58m).
Shay Miles earned a ninth-place finish in the triple jump, leaping 37-3.25 (11.36m) to earn points for the Bulldog finish.
The running events continued with the 1,500m run as Sellick placed second after hanging in the fourth place position throughout much of the race. Krystina Jackson timed in at 14.30 in the 100m hurdles to take third in the event immediately following Sellick's race.
Freshman Tiera Hilliard battled with UCLA's Joy Eaton in the final stretch of the 400m dash, eventually beating the Bruin for the win at 54.64. Hilliard's time was four hundredths of a second shy of NCAA Regional qualification. Renee Winston ran a 56.52 to take sixth in the race.
Rayna White, who ran a personal best 11.98 in the 100m preliminaries Friday, took sixth in the finals of the race Saturday.
Sellick earned a second spot on the podium Saturday with a third place finish in the 800m run with a personal best 2:13.32. Santana scored points in the event as she placed seventh in the race. Both Erica McCoy and T'Shara Hicks each reached new personal best marks in the 400m hurdles, finishing in seventh and eighth respectively.
The women's final individual race, the 3,000m hurdles proved to be a good race for Meredith Hawkins as the senior battled through the pack to take fifth with a new best of 11:14.60.
The Bulldog women's relay team of McCoy, Lopez, Winston and Hilliard came out in third in the event for a season-best of 4:43.28.
Fresno State travels to Palo Alto for the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, April 5.