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Cal Poly Wins 5 Events, Adds 9 Second-Place Finishes at Bulldog Invitational

Cal Poly Wins 5 Events, Adds 9 Second-Place Finishes at Bulldog Invitational

CLOVIS, Calif. — The Cal Poly track & field team picked up five event wins at the Bulldog Invitational on Saturday, and the Mustangs also produced nine second-place finishes in Veterans Memorial Stadium. In addition to Fresno State, the meet also featured Oregon State, Nevada, UNLV, CSUN, Pacific, San Jose State and CSU Bakersfield.

Earning his second victory in a three-week stretch, Alex Ziebart threw the javelin 203 feet and 3 inches. Including a pair of first-place finishes from 2014, it's the fourth career win for the senior, who came into the day No. 2 in the Big West this season.

Later on, Marcus Beloney won the 400 meters with a time of 49.11 seconds (best on the squad so far this spring), before another true freshman, Connor Crowe, claimed the 800 in 1:52.82 (No. 1 throughout the conference among first-year runners).

Only a week after matching his PR in the shot put, Arnie Sambel surpassed it with a winning mark of 54' 11.5", upping his career total of first-place throws as a Mustang to 11. Nate Vickers was next, at 50' 8.75".

Afterward, Vickers came back to win the discus, releasing a season-best throw of 157' 9" to edge Sambel's 156' 11". Altogether over the past two seasons, the tandem of juniors has now finished one-two on eight different occasions.

Decathlete Ted Scranton also posted a season-best in the discus, taking fourth place at 143' 1".

Cal Poly senior Nick Bultman was the runner-up in the hammer throw (with a season-best 181' 5"), as were junior Ben Hartinger in the 110-meter hurdles (14.50, his fastest time this year), sophomore Tomi Nord in the pole vault (a lifetime-best 15' 7.25") and freshmen Brian Graber & Vince Porter in the high jump (each clearing 6' 7.5").

Leading the women's squad, senior captain Kendal Nielsen kept her conference-best triple jump season going with a second-place mark of 39' 11.25". Sophomore Juliana McCuaig also came in eighth at 37' 7.75".

At the end of the night, sophomore Zachary Wims finished third in the 3,000 (in 8:41.86), before freshman Julia Vasquez was the runner-up in her race (at 10:29.27).

Four teammates joined Hartinger in the 110m hurdles: freshman Aidan Kirwan (in fourth place, at 15.21), Scranton (fifth, 15.30) & junior captain Kevin Staniszewski (sixth, 15.40), and sophomore Jacob Rickman (ninth, 15.93).

In the men's 1,500m, freshman Alex Merder came in third place with a time of 3:55.52 (a season-best by almost five full seconds), followed by sophomore Dustin Herold in fifth at 3:56.24.

Maddie McDonald also earned a PR in the 1,500, clocking a third-place 4:47.07, followed by freshman Megan Melnyk in fourth at 4:50.04. Similarly, freshman Natalie Grohmann also had a PR in the 800 (a third-place 2:13.21), and senior Sara Van Dyke made her return to the track following cross country with a sixth-place 2:18.55.

Redshirt freshman Megan Mooney was sixth in the javelin, with a mark of 138' 6", and sophomore Claire Pirio finished  11th at 110' 5". Sophomore Kiely Osby, meanwhile, posted a career-best throw in the discus — 138' 8" (eighth) — before taking third in the shot put via another season-best, 45' 2.25". 

Mustang senior Walter Finney also ran a season-best 10.86 in the 100-meter dash (good for sixth place), with junior Joey Sanfilippo in eighth at 11 seconds flat.

Making their 2016 debuts in the sprint, long jump specialist and decathlete Ivy Adair ran 11.34, and fellow junior Ricky Strehlow, a back-to-back West Regional triple jump qualifier, posted an 11.61. The versatile Adair also competed in the shot put, turning in a season-best 36' 1.25" (ninth).

More toward the end of the evening, a trio of Mustangs ran in the 200, led by junior Amir Bradley in fourth place at 22.12 seconds (a wind-legal PR; he also ran 22.10 at the same meet a year ago with a tailwind of 2.2 m/s), followed by sophomore Liam Martinez in sixth (22.24 in his first-ever collegiate 200) and Sanfilippo in 11th (a season-best 22.73).

Finney also led off a 4x100 relay performance of 41.56, as Bradley, junior Tyler Rohde and freshman Haris Khaliq combined to take second to CSUN's 41.15.

In the women's long jump, junior heptathlete Jessica Rasmussen landed with a seventh-place mark of 18' 9.25". Nielsen was eighth (at 18' 2.5"), while junior teammate Mishe' Scott came in 10th at 18' 1" and another multi-events competitor, sophomore Kirby Ruback, was 17th at 17' 4.25".

The Mustang men swept spots 4 through 6 in their long jump, as Scranton leapt 20' 8", Rickman 20' 7" and freshman Dane Clemensen 18' 7.75".

Sophomore Ciara Levy was eighth in the 100m hurdles at 14.72 seconds, ahead of Rasmussen (10th at 15.02) and junior Christina Dyok (17th, 15.42).

Levy also ran the 100-meter dash, finishing in 22nd place at 12.53 seconds, behind freshman Ralaina LiDrazzah in 20th at 12.46. Junior Liesl Shirhall added a 23rd-place time of 12.60, and freshman Jazmin Moreno was 27th in 12.83. Shirhall, LiDrazzah, Nielsen and McCuaig also teamed-up for a time of 47.86 in their 4x100 relay (fifth).

Four Mustangs were close together in the women's 400, paced by sophomore Chloe Carlson in 14th place (with a PR of 58.65 seconds), followed by junior Mallory Patino (15th at 58.72, a career-fastest for the hurdler), freshman Nikki Boggs (19th, 59.52) and sophomore Nina Rondoni (22nd, 59.85).

Keana Viss came in fifth place in the 400 hurdles, at 1:06.83. Ruback also added a sixth-place high jump of 5' 1.25", and Pirio cleared an eighth-place 4' 11.5".

Larissa Kurtz also tallied the best result of her initial season as a Mustang, clearing 11' 1.75" as the sixth-place pole vaulter.

Rasmussen led five women in the 200, running a 19th-place 25.57, followed by Shirhall (26.37), Boggs (27.25), Ruback (27.35) and Rondoni (27.37).

The Mustangs will now return home to host the Blue-Green Rivalry Meet against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, April 30.

To view the full schedule of events for the upcoming dual vs. the Gauchos, click here.