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Five Mustangs Compete on Day 2 of NCAA West Regional Meet at Kansas

Five Mustangs Compete on Day 2 of NCAA West Regional Meet at Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Five members of the Cal Poly track & field team competed Friday at the NCAA Championships West Preliminary Round hosted by Kansas, continuing a meet that saw a postponement of nearly all events on Thursday due to ongoing stormy conditions surrounding Rock Chalk Park.

The first of 11 Mustangs to post a finish, redshirt freshman javelin thrower Megan Mooney, resumed her competition in-progress after it was suspended from Day 1. She finished six spots above her seeded entry mark, taking 34th place at 146 feet, 6 inches (carried over from the first day, prior to the stoppage).

Mooney will enter next spring as the defending Big West Conference champion, with a PR of 153' 2" (ranking No. 6 in school history).

Also in the morning — at the Jayhawks' indoor facility, Anschutz Pavilion — sophomore Danielle Taylor no-heighted in the high jump. Taylor, the Big West Athlete of the Week on March 15, will head into her junior year with a career-best outdoor clearance of 5' 9.25" (tied for No. 9 all-time at Cal Poly).

Later in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Nick Woolf finished 47th with a time of 9 minutes, 30.97 seconds. Woolf, only the second runner since 1970 to win three career Big West steeplechase titles, finished his career No. 6 in Mustang history, at 8:48.03.

Then a bit before 3 p.m. local time, after multiple lightning strikes observed in the area, another three-hour delay went into effect, and the women's long jump was also moved indoors (altogether the fifth event in two days to be relocated).

The men's javelin, featuring Cal Poly seniors Alex Ziebart and Devin Bennett, initially began at 10:30 a.m. before being put on hiatus due to the weather. After restarting warm-up throws around 5:15, Ziebart finished 35th, with a mark of 196' 10", and Bennett was 43rd, at 180' 10".

Both will graduate among the best javelin specialists in program history, as Bennett's career-best mark of 206' 3" ranks eighth since 1986, just ahead of Ziebart in ninth at 204' 9".

Top-12 finishers at the regional meet advance to the national championships (along with qualifiers from the East Regional at North Florida) at Oregon from June 8-11. 

Another Mustang originally scheduled to compete Friday (at 5:30), junior discus thrower Arnie Sambel, had his event pushed back for a second time in less than 24 hours — now to 9 a.m. Central Time Saturday.

He's one of six Cal Poly student-athletes slated to compete during the final day, each listed below according to the updated schedule in CDT (with their corresponding seeds, heats and flights). Weather permitting, the NCAA will broadcast the meet live.

Saturday, May 28 (Central Time)

9 a.m. • Men's Discus (Flight 1 of 3)
Arnie Sambel, Jr. — (48.) 173' 11" (April 30)

10:30 a.m. • Women's 1,500 Meters (Quarterfinal; Heats TBD)
Katie Izzo, Fr. — (39.) 4:22.95 (April 1)

12:30 p.m. • Women's Triple Jump (Flight 3 of 4)
Kendal Nielsen, Sr. — (14.) 42' 6.25" (May 14)

1:20 p.m. • Women's 5,000 Meters (Heat 1 of 2)
Peyton Bilo, Fr. — (19.) 16:13.55 (April 1)

2 p.m. • Men's 5,000 Meters (Heat 1 of 2)
Swarnjit Boyal, Jr. — (41.) 14:02.40 (April 16)
Clayton Hutchins, Jr. — (48.) 14:05.84 (April 1)