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Bennett Earns All-Conference Honor in Decathlon at Big West Championships

Bennett Earns All-Conference Honor in Decathlon at Big West Championships

Cal Poly Decathletes Combine to Win 6 of the 10 Events; Rasmussen Also Adds Team Points as All Six Mustangs Score Career Highs

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Cal Poly senior Devin Bennett earned the second multi-event all-conference accolade of his career on Saturday, leading a trio of decathletes to a combined 15 points in the Big West Track & Field Championships, while Mustang junior heptathlete Jessica Rasmussen also tallied early team scoring which will carry over into the rest of the finals next week at Long Beach State.

Bennett opened Day 2 in Jack Rose Stadium by rising from 10th to seventh place on the leaderboard with a sixth-place 110-meter hurdles time of 16.08 seconds and a career-best second-place discus mark of 139 feet, 7 inches. He continued by gaining one more spot with a win in the pole vault thanks to a clearance of 14' 5.25".

Bennett, who was second at the meet in 2014, kept his momentum surging by closing with two more event wins (altogether the fifth and sixth for the squad out of the 10 possible since Friday).

He threw the javelin 200 feet even on his third and final attempt, not only elevating two more spots to fourth place, but also shattering his PR by a margin of 6' 10" while taking over the No. 10 spot in school history (post-1986).

Then Bennett raced to a comfortable 1,500-meter win in 4:21.77 — nearly 24 seconds ahead of the runner-up, UC Santa Barbara's Tyler Nelson.

Nelson, however, did just enough to turn the tables on fellow sophomore Herman Day (eighth in the 1,500, at 4:52.93), upsetting the 49er for the title, 7,220 to 7,198.

Bennett finished close in third place with 7,153 points. He edged junior teammates Ted Scranton (fourth with 7,038) and Ivy Adair (fifth with 6,882), and they joined him in scoring historic career-best figures.

Bennett's total bettered his own No. 5 all-time ranking on the Cal Poly chart, while Scranton moved up to No. 6 and Adair to No. 8 in school history.

Having collected six, five and four team points apiece in descending order, the Mustang trio provided Cal Poly an early 15-14 lead over UCSB for first place to start the championships. (LBSU is in third with eight points, followed by UC Davis' two.)

Scranton had started his afternoon moving up from fourth to third overall following his second win of the weekend, this time in the discus — thanks to a season-best throw of 145' 10".

His win came after a third fourth-place result: a 110m hurdles time of 15.55. Then after clearing 12' 5.5" in the pole vault (taking ninth while matching his PR from earlier this spring), Scranton had a javelin mark of 160' 8" and a 1,500 time of 4:51.78 (seventh in each).

Adair, meanwhile, opened with three consecutive PRs, coming in seventh in both the 110m hurdles (at 16.34) and discus (117' 8"). He also helped Cal Poly dominate the pole vault, coming in second at 14' 1.25".

Next up, Adair was fourth in the javelin with a season-best 181' 7", before concluding with a sixth-place 1,500 time of 4:51.72 (as he and Scranton garnered an identical 608 points).

Rasmussen finished in seventh place in the heptathlon, compiling a score of 4,567 to chalk up two team points.

She began the afternoon climbing three spots on the leaderboard, up to eighth, after a second-place long jump of 19' 2" (only three-quarters of an inch off her previous best, which ranks No. 5 conference-wide).

Then after a season-best javelin throw of 69 feet, Rasmussen posted another PR: 2:19.29 in the 800 meters (good for fifth on the way to her final standing).

Mustang sophomore Kirby Ruback added an 11th-place finish with 4,269 points, while redshirt freshman Keana Viss was 12th with 4,221.

Ruback long-jumped 17' 0.5" before ending on two more career-best performances: 81' 10" in the javelin and a third-place time of 2:17.00 in the 800.

Following her long jump of 15' 3.25", Viss' sixth-place javelin result of 106' 10" moved her to 12th. She stayed there with a seventh-place 800 run of 2:27.38.

All three Mustang heptathletes also scored career-high totals over the two-day meet.

The hosts saw junior Riley Cooks win with 5,414 points, but with 11 early team points, the Gaucho women put away a slim advantage on the 49ers (10) for first.

For a full upcoming schedule of the remainder of the championships at LBSU from May 13-14, click here. FOX Sports Prime Ticket will televise the last day.