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Past and Present Mustangs Shine at Cal Poly ShareSLO Invitational

Past and Present Mustangs Shine at Cal Poly ShareSLO Invitational

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Two meet records fell, one of the top 10 performances in school history was recorded, and 16 Mustangs combined to win 13 events at the 34th annual Cal Poly #ShareSLO Track & Field Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

The first meet record to be broken came in the women's 1,500 meters, via Cal Poly freshman Katie Izzo at 4 minutes, 26.24 seconds.

Fellow first-year Mustang Peyton Bilo also surpassed the old record (4:27.37, by Leanne Fogg in 2011), running to a time of 4:27.23. Senior Erika Veidis completed a sweep of the top three spots, finishing in 4:31.34.

The Cal Poly men also dominated their 1,500, with junior Clayton Hutchins winning in 3:50.75 ahead of sophomore Peter Cotsirilos (at 3:52.06) and junior Swarnjit Boyal (3:53.77).

Later in the day, as a steady wind picked up, Mustang senior Kendal Nielsen bettered her already-historic career-best mark in the triple jump. Despite jumping into a headwind of -3.4 meters per second, Nielsen landed at 41 feet, 4 inches, earning altogether her 14th career first-place finish in her premier event.

Nielsen, whose previous PR was 40' 10.5", stayed No. 4 in Cal Poly's all-time rankings — now just two inches back of Jessica Eggleston (2008) for the No. 3 spot. Sophomore Juliana McCuaig was second in the triple, at 38' 5.75".

Cal Poly alumna Stephanie Brown Trafton accounted for the second meet record, throwing the discus 199' 8", more than 25 feet farther than the rest of the field. She eclipsed her own previous standard (199' 5", from 2009).

The 2008 Beijing gold medalist, a six-time All-American as a Mustang who's now seeking a trip to her fourth Olympics since 2004, moved to No. 9 on the world leaders list for the 2016 outdoor season, as well as No. 1 from the U.S. Her throw of almost 200 feet is her best since 2012, when she set the American record at 222' 3".

Another former Cal Poly All-American, John Prader, was only three-quarters of an inch away from breaking the meet pole vault record, clearing 18' 0.5". Current Mustang sophomore Tomi Nord, who jumped a collegiate-best earlier this spring, went to a new lifetime best, 15' 7", to take fourth place.

Cal Poly went one-two in the men's throws, with Arnie Sambel winning the shot put at 53' 8" and then the discus at 167' 11.75", followed by fellow junior Nate Vickers in each event, at 51' 3.25" and 152' 6.5".

The men's 200 meters also starred a Cal Poly duo, as junior Tyler Rohde won in 21.99, ahead of senior Walter Finney's 22.31. Haris Khaliq, one of several talented Mustang freshmen making home debuts, also ran under 23 seconds in a tight race, coming in sixth at 22.72.

The sprinters traded places from the 100-meter dash, which Finney won in a photo finish at 10.91 over Cody Bidlow (also 10.91), formerly of Grand Canyon, and Rohde (10.93).

Cal Poly also tallied wins on the men's side in the javelin (with senior Nick Ahrold throwing to 194' 3"), the 400 meters (thanks to sophomore Liam Martinez at 50.01 seconds) and the 4x100 relay (with a season-best 41.89).

Second-place finishes were also added by junior Ben Hartinger in the 110m hurdles (at 14.81 seconds), freshman Aidan Kirwan in the 400m hurdles (54.22), junior decathlete Ivy Adair in the long jump (23' 1.75" — tops among all the NCAA competitors, as Kazuya Kawasaki from Juntendo University of Tokyo won at 23' 6.5"), freshman Vince Porter in the high jump (6' 6.5") and the 4x400 relay squad (3:22.34).

On the women's side, the Mustangs also scored wins in the 400m hurdles (with junior Mallory Patino finishing in 1:02.50), the 800 (taken by junior Allie Sulaitis in 2:13.29, just in front of freshman teammate Megan Melnyk's 2:13.90) and the 4x100 relay (47.13).

Daijah Joe-Smith almost won the women's 100-meter dash, at 11.94, just one-hundredth of a second behind the winner, Bulldog junior Njeri Omawahleh. Joe-Smith, a junior, also was the runner-up in the 200 (in 25.14) and made her collegiate long jump debut in successful fashion (just one inch shy of 19 feet — good for seventh in a field of 28).

Mustang freshman Ralaina LiDrazzah was close behind in the 200, clocking a 25.27 (for fourth), while junior Jessica Escalante also had a sub-25.5 time, coming in sixth place at 25.33.

The women's long jump also featured two more PRs, with fifth place going to junior heptathlete Jessica Rasmussen at 19' 2.50" and sixth to Nielsen at 18' 11.5", despite both facing wind resistances of -1.0 and -.4 m/s.

Cal Poly's Danielle Taylor added a second-place high jump of 5' 5.75", and fellow sophomore Ciara Levy also had the top time of any collegiate 100m hurdler, taking third place overall while matching her PR from a year ago, 14.33 seconds.

Cal Poly went 2-0 on both sides of the Division I-level dual scoring, as the men beat CSU Bakersfield 108-40 and Fresno State 101-65, while the women defeated the Roadrunners 112-46 and the Bulldogs 97-72.

To view all of the results from Saturday, click here.

The Mustangs will next split up into three travel groups for the upcoming weekend, heading to the Stanford Invitational, the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and the Bruin Legends Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

Additional Photos © 2016 David E. Holmes