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Woolf, Mooney, Bilo Win Big West Conference Championships for Cal Poly

Woolf, Mooney, Bilo Win Big West Conference Championships for Cal Poly

Galvez, Boyal, Giguere Also Earn All-Conference Honors; Nine Mustangs Advance to Saturday's Finals on FOX Sports

Meet's Opening Day Features 18 PRs, 7 Additional Season-Best Performances by Cal Poly

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Nick Woolf, Megan Mooney and Peyton Bilo won individual conference titles representing Cal Poly at the Big West Track & Field Championships on Friday, leading the Mustangs on the opening day of the meet at Long Beach State.

Woolf won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8 minutes, 57.69 seconds, becoming only the second runner in the conference's 47-year history of the event to win the title three times. Altogether, he's now a four-time Big West track champion (as he also won the 5,000m crown as a junior).

David Galvez was the runner-up in the steeplechase, tallying eight team points with a career-best time of 9:10.80. Logan Marshall also added a fifth-place finish of 9:17.00 — a season-best for four more points.
 
A bit later in the afternoon, Cal Poly won the women's javelin, as Mooney earned a mark of 153 feet, 2 inches on her sixth and final attempt. In doing so, the redshirt freshman moved to No. 6 in school history for the event.

In the first of several of her events at the two-day meet, Mustang junior Jessica Escalante also added a 14th-place javelin throw of 112' 7".

Toward the end of the evening, Bilo won the 10,000-meter title, finishing in 36:46.78 — a 17.45-second gap ahead of the runner-up.

Bilo was followed by another scorer, Rachel Bush, who earned two points from her seventh-place time of 37:50.70, ahead of fellow junior Kylie Nishisaka in 10th at 38:25.11 and freshman Julia Vasquez in 17th at 39:36.98.

The wins by Woolf, Mooney and Bilo brought Cal Poly's total of conference championships in the Big West to 119 (since 1997).

Several Mustangs will look to add to that list when competition resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, going to 5:30 p.m. FOX Sports Prime Ticket will televise the action in Jack Rose Stadium from 2 to 6 p.m. (To view updated heat sheets, click here.)

Although UC Davis' Trevor Halsted took the men's 10K crown at 30:07.51, four Cal Poly runners combined to secure 17 team points in the finale for Day 1, led by junior Swarnjit Boyal's runner-up PR of 30:28.87.

Not far back, though, sophomore Mikey Giguere also earned an all-conference accolade by finishing third in a career-best 30:34.40, followed by junior Dimitri Voytilla in seventh at 31:04.06 and sophomore James Welsh in eighth at 31:31.80.

Heading into Saturday, Cal Poly is in first place on the men's side, with 65 points (eight up on UC Davis and 10 up on Long Beach State, which is looking for a fourth consecutive team championship). The Mustangs are in sixth in the women's standings, with 29. CSUN, seeking a back-to-back crown, is in seventh following a first-day score of 22.   

Maddie McDonald was just one spot back of an all-conference plaque in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, finishing fourth in 11:06.38, a PR for the sophomore. Mustang freshman Delaney Fitzsimmons was ninth with a season-best 11:35.24.

Freshman high jumper Brian Graber also scored fourth-place points on a career-best performance (one of 18 for the entire squad on the day), clearing 6' 9.5", while Vince Porter also tallied a point with a seventh-place height of 6' 3.5".

The men's team also was led by a PR in the shot put, as Nate Vickers finished in fifth place with a mark of 55' 1" on his second attempt. Fellow junior Arnie Sambel was also a scorer, placing eighth at 51' 10", along with decathlete Ted Scranton in 16th at 45' 10.5".

While establishing a PR in the men's hammer throw, Mustang senior Nick Bultman moved up from No. 5 to No. 3 in school history, with a mark of 189' 9". The top two spots all-time at Cal Poly remain held by 1961 NCAA Division I national champion Tom Pagani (200' 5") and 1986 CCAA champion Jim Halter (195' 11").

Cal Poly had a trio of men advance to the finals for the 1,500 meters. Clayton Hutchins was fourth overall in qualifying (as the junior was second out of Heat 1), with a time of 4:00.51. Teammates who also moved on are sophomores Peter Cotsirilos (4:00.80) and Garrett Migliozzi (3:54.49).

Also in the 1,500m prelims, junior Alex Heuchert (4:02.14), senior Luis Morales (4:03.17) and freshman Alex Merder (4:11.98) represented the Mustangs. The originally-scheduled prelims for the women's 1,500m were moved directly into a final at 2:20 Saturday due to scratches.

Mustang junior Ben Hartinger also advanced to the 110-meter hurdles finals, clocking a seventh-qualifying (and season-best) time of 14.48 seconds. Kevin Staniszewski also competed in the prelims for Cal Poly, finishing at 14.99.

Sophomore Liam Martinez had the eighth-qualifying time for the 400m finals: a career-best 48.58.

Allie Sulaitis also moved on in the women's 800m, running a sixth-place 2:12.50. Sara Van Dyke was only one spot back of advancing as well, finishing in a season-best 2:14.68 (one of the team's 25 bests for this spring on the day), while freshman Natalie Grohmann also ran a 2:20.36 in the prelims.

Connor Crowe will also race in the 800m finals, as the freshman took three-hundredths of a second off his previous season-best time while qualifying at 1:52.79.

Mustang junior Mallory Patino also moved on to the 400m hurdle finals, qualifying sixth at 1:01.63. Freshman heptathlete Keana Viss also competed in the prelims, at 1:05.89. Additionally, Aidan Kirwan will advance to the men's final, clocking an eighth-place 53.27 in his debut at the meet.

A week after scoring team points in the heptathlon, Cal Poly junior Jessica Rasmussen was 10th in the women's long jump, with a mark of 18' 2.25", ahead of senior Kendal Nielsen (11th at 18' 1.75") and junior Mishe' Scott (19th at 17' 0.75"). Another multi-events leader for the Mustangs, junior Ivy Adair, came in 14th place in the long jump at 22' 3.5", followed by Ricky Strehlow in 17th with a mark of 21' 11.5".

Three Mustangs, sophomore Ciara Levy (14.80) and juniors Jessica Davis (14.77) & Christina Dyok (a PR of 15.06) also competed in the women's 100m hurdle prelims.

Senior Walter Finney finished 14th in the 100-meter dash at 10.88 seconds, before running a season-best 200 of 21.96 (just behind junior Tyler Rohde's time of 21.82, which bettered his 21.83 from last month on the same track for the Beach Invitational).

At their first Big West Championships, Escalante (12.294) and freshman Ralaina LiDrazzah (12.295) were one-thousandth of a second away from each other in the 100. Then about 90 minutes later, they came back to each record season-best 200 times in the prelims, 24.95 and 25.14.

Another first-year Mustang also making her championships debut, Hannah Chang, cleared her second-best height of the season in the pole vault, placing 16th at 11' 10".

Photos by Steve Chen / John Fajardo