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Cal Poly Track & Field Finishes Busy Week at Long Beach State Invitational

Cal Poly Track & Field Finishes Busy Week at Long Beach State Invitational

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Cal Poly track & field team concluded a week comprised of three separate meets by competing at the Beach Invitational on Saturday.

Kendal Nielsen led the Mustangs with a fourth-place finish in the women's triple jump, highlighting the massive 22nd annual meet hosted by Long Beach State at newly opened Jack Rose Track.

Nielsen, a senior and the Big West Conference leader in the event, landed at 40 feet, 2.25 inches on her third attempt, with professional Blessing Ufodiama (fourth at the USATF Championships in 2013 and 2014) winning at 44 feet. Cal Poly sophomore Juliana McCuaig also came in 35th place, at 36' 4.25" on her second attempt.

Meanwhile, Arnie Sambel also had a top-10 performance in the men's shot put, matching his PR achieved last season with a 10th-place mark of 54' 10.75" on his third throw. Fellow junior Nate Vickers added a 28th-place mark of 49' 6.5".

The efforts by Nielsen and Sambel upped the Mustangs' total count of top-10 performances during the week to nine — joining five from Friday night's action which included the Mt. SAC Relays in Norwalk and two from Wednesday to Thursday at the California Invitational decathlons at Azusa Pacific.

Additionally, Saturday's men's 400-meter hurdles featured a 12th-place finish from true freshman Aidan Kirwan, thanks to a season-best and squad-leading time of 53.19 seconds.

In the women's high jump, sophomore Danielle Taylor was 15th, clearing 5' 5", after freshmen Brian Graber and Vince Porter finished 25th and 31st in the men's competition, respectively, at 6' 4.75" and 6' 2.75".

Tyler Rohde took 16th place in the 200 meters, with a career-best time of 21.83 seconds, with fellow junior Amir Bradley adding a 49th-place 22.36. Rohde and Bradley also combined with senior Walter Finney and junior Joey Sanfilippo for a season-best 4x100 relay performance of 41.45 seconds, good for fourth.

In the 110 hurdles, Ben Hartinger came in 17th place with a time of 14.72 seconds, followed by junior teammate Kevin Staniszewski in 31st at 15.06.

In the women's 800 field of 129 runners, Mustang junior Allie Sulaitis clocked a career-best time of 2:10.84 (earning 25th while taking 1.35 seconds off her PR), while freshman Natalie Grohmann ran to a 2:14.74 (59th).

In the men's discus, Sambel and Vickers followed-up by taking 23rd (at 162' 5") and 38th (150' 6"). Kiely Osby, a sophomore, also posted a 25th-place mark of 44' 8.75" (another season best) in the women's shot put.

Junior triple jump specialist Ricky Strehlow came in 35th place in the men's long jump, at 21' 1.5" on his second try. The event was won by British superstar Greg Rutherford, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, who outdistanced the field at 27' 2.75".

Also for the Cal Poly women, sophomore Ciara Levy took 36th place in the 100 hurdles at 14.46 seconds, ahead of junior Jessica Davis in 58th at 14.92. Mallory Patino was 48th in the 400 hurdles (at 1:04.18), and another junior, Jessica Escalante, was 71st in the 200 (26.55 seconds).

In the 400s, Liam Martinez finished 44th with a PR of 49.21 seconds, and fellow sophomore Anna Carskaden was 66th at 59.53. Freshman Connor Crowe also represented Cal Poly with a PR in the 800, finishing 42nd at 1:53.99.

To wrap up the evening, Martinez, Finney, Kirwan and Bradley finished seventh in the 4x400 relay with a season-best showing of 3:17.85, and Carskaden, Patino, Grohmann and Escalante were eighth at 3:57.78.

The Mustangs will next head to Clovis for the second time this season, visiting Veterans Memorial Stadium for the Bulldog Invitational from 12:30 to 7:15 p.m. Saturday, April 23.