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Five Mustangs Win Events at Cal Opener to Begin Outdoor Track & Field Season

Five Mustangs Win Events at Cal Opener to Begin Outdoor Track & Field Season

Cal Poly Also Tallies 10 Second-Place Finishes at First Meet of the Spring

Early Season to Continue at Fullerton's Ben Brown Invitational Next Weekend

BERKELEY, Calif. — The Cal Poly track & field team won five events on Saturday at the Cal Opener, as the Mustangs began their 2017 outdoor season with a quad-meet against the host Golden Bears, Nevada and UC Davis in Edwards Stadium.

Senior Ben Hartinger won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.73 seconds. The 2015 All-Big West Conference honoree was followed in second place by sophomore Aidan Kirwan (at 15.11) and freshman Bailey Thayer in third (15.31).

The Mustangs also went 1-2 in the women's 800 meters, as senior Allie Sulaitis won in 2:12.34, with sophomore teammate Megan Melnyk close behind at 2:14.73, as the duo topped a Cal tandem of Katherine Haysbert & Natalie Herberg (2:14.91 and 2:15.24).

Brad Beekman also won the pole vault, as the redshirt junior cleared 15 feet, 7 inches.

Making his collegiate debut, freshman Clayton Mackay won the 400m hurdles with a performance of 54.28 seconds, edging Kirwan's third-place 55.09 and fellow freshman Griffin Teague's fifth 56.44.

The fifth win of the day came from sophomore Peyton Bilo in the 1,500 meters, at 4:28.12. Also in the race for the Mustangs were senior Kylie Nishisaka (eighth, at 4:38.83) and sophomore Hannah Hull (10th, 4:40.28).

Junior Liam Martinez was the runner-up in the 400 meters, at 48.21 seconds (a new PR), just behind Cal's Cole Johnson at 47.98, while sophomore teammate Marcus Beloney came in fifth at 49.23.

Senior Arnie Sambel finished second in the discus, with a mark of 173 feet, 5 inches. Thayer also threw an eighth-place 111' 9". Sambel also took third in the shot put, tossing a 56' 8.75", just ahead of fellow senior Nate Vickers in fourth, at a career-best 55' 5.75".

Sambel, a back-to-back qualifier for the West Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships, started his spring by nearly hitting his PRs: 57' 2" and 175' 0" — each of which rank in the top 10 in school history.

Meanwhile in his first javelin competition as a Mustang, sophomore Dane Clemensen came in second with a mark of 172' 8", with senior Danny Yeager also placing fourth at 154' 3".

Also for Cal Poly, junior Bailey Sanin was second in the 400m hurdles at 1:02.83, ahead of senior teammate Mallory Patino's third-place 1:05.39.

Senior high-jumper Danny Shellworth also finished second, clearing 6' 4.75", followed by sophomore Vince Porter in fourth via 6' 2.75". Cal Poly also went 2-4 in the women's high jump, as freshman Julie Zweng and junior Danielle Taylor each jumped 5' 3".

Redshirt junior Molly Haar also came in second place in the 3,000 meters, clocking a time of 9:54.56. Two freshmen joined her in the event, as Cate Ratliff was seventh (at 10:11.34) and Ashley Heys ninth (10:29.39).

A 10th runner-up showing was produced by senior Jessica Davis in the 100m hurdles, at 14.88 seconds (only seven-hundredths back of Golden Bear Morgan Robertson for the win). Four teammates followed, as freshman Molly Ross was third (in 14.99), in addition to a trio of heptathletes in fifth through seventh: senior Jessica Rasmussen (15.86), freshman Caice Lanovaz (16.55) and redshirt sophomore Keana Viss (16.77).

Making his NCAA debut, Cal Poly freshman Chineme Allison finished third in the 100-meter dash, with a time of 11.11 seconds. Senior Jirael Hipol also added a fifth-place 11.21.

In the 800 meters, sophomore Connor Crowe finished third at 1:54.30, trailed by junior Peter Cotsirilos in sixth (1:58.74).

Another freshman, Abi Iriafen, took third in the women's long jump, with a mark of 16' 11.5", complemented by junior Kirby Ruback (fourth at 16' 3.75") and freshman Hannah Duarte (sixth; 14' 9.25"). Iriafen claimed third in the triple jump, as well, posting a mark of 37' 1.75", and Duarte added a 32' 3" for fifth.

Four Mustangs competed in the women's javelin, led by the defending Big West Conference champion, redshirt sophomore Megan Mooney, who threw for a mark of 133' 8". Senior Jessica Escalante established a new lifetime-best in the event — earning fourth at 130' 1" — ahead of Viss (sixth; 114' 4") and junior Claire Pirio (seventh; 112' 11").

Another third-place performance was had by junior Mikey Giguere in the 3,000 meters, at 8:27.70, ahead of senior Swarnjit Boyal in sixth (8:30.65), redshirt freshman Wesley Walsh in eighth (8:39.42) and redshirt junior Zachary Wims in ninth (8:42.14).

In the men's 1,500m, the reigning conference cross country champion, senior Clayton Hutchins, made his return to the track with a fourth-place 3:54.29, along with Boyal (sixth, 3:54.76), junior Garrett Migliozzi (seventh, 3:55.09), sophomore Alex Merder (ninth, 3:55.38), junior Dustin Herold (10th, 3:56.58) and senior David Galvez (11th, 3:56.67).

Escalante also finished fifth in the women's 100-meter dash with a time of 12.31 seconds. Fellow senior Liesl Shirhall was seventh at 12.49, and sophomore Ralaina LiDrazzah came in ninth at 12.70.

In the women's pole vault, sophomore Larissa Kurtz led the Mustangs with a fifth-place clearance of 11' 5.75", followed by freshman Remi Mahlum (seventh; 10' 11.75") and sophomore Hannah Chang along with freshman Sydney Jaques (tied for eighth on attempts — also at 10' 11.75").

Danny Yeager also posted a fifth-place hammer throw, as the senior decathlete's mark of 74 feet topped Clemensen's throw of 61' 10" (sixth).

Sophomore Allison Scranton and freshman Emma Coleman competed in three throws events Saturday, taking third and fourth in the shot put (at 41' 10" and 39' 5.75"), fifth and seventh in the discus (138' 3" and 124' 4"), and eighth and ninth in the hammer (130' 8" and 88' 9").

Another freshman, Julianna Ruotolo, added a sixth-place 400-meter time of 57.50 seconds, with sophomore Nikki Boggs in eighth at 59.31.

Hipol also finished seventh in the long jump, with a mark of 21' 0.5", edging Allison (ninth, 20' 2.25") and redshirt junior decathlete Jacob Rickman (10th, 19' 9.75").

Escalante also led Cal Poly in the 200-meter sprint, recording a time of 25.59 seconds for eighth. Sophomore teammate Jazmin Moreno took ninth at 25.61, followed by Shirhall (14th, 26.36) and Davis (16th, 26.96).

The Mustang women were second in both relays — at 48.97 seconds in the 4x100m and 3:57.07 for the 4x400m — and the men's squad took third in the latter, in 3:22.31.

Cal Poly will return to action at the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton from March 10-11.

The Mustangs will then return home for the 35th annual two-day Cal Poly #ShareSLO Invitational (with the hammer and discus held at nearby Cuesta College on Friday, March 24, and all other events hosted at Cal Poly on Saturday, March 25).