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Cal Poly Track & Field Wins 12 Events vs. UCSB, UC Riverside

Cal Poly Track & Field Wins 12 Events vs. UCSB, UC Riverside

Trio of Mustangs Also Enter Top 10 in School History for Steeplechase at Tri-Meet in Rainy Conditions

MONTECITO, Calif. — Highlighted by the Mustang women's squad sweeping UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside, the Cal Poly track & field program took on two Big West Conference rivals throughout a rainy Saturday at Westmont, claiming 12 event wins altogether.

In the women's team scoring, Cal Poly topped the rival Gauchos 97-96 and the Highlanders 112-70. The Mustangs beat UCR 94-85 while UCSB prevailed 105-84 on the men's side. Light showers turned to heavier rainfall as the meet progressed.

The first victory of the day came in the women's pole vault, where freshman Brooke Tjerrild, the reigning Big West Women's Field Athlete of the Week, cleared 12 feet for her second consecutive win to open the outdoor season. Tjerrild edged Sydney Jaques (11' 6.25"), ahead of teammates Kayla Myers (third, 11' 0.25") and Larissa Kurtz (fifth, 10' 6.25").

Shortly afterward, sophomore Caice Lanovaz won the women's long jump with the best mark of her collegiate career: a conference-leading 19' 1.5". Teammates Keana Viss and Bianca James also jumped 15' 1.5" & 14' 11.5" to take 14th & 15th.

Cal Poly then swept the pole vault, as sophomore Matt Hunt cleared 14' 11.5" on the men's side.

The next win took place in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, as junior Sean McDermott edged senior teammate Logan Marshall at the front, 9:04.67 to 9:13.42.

Meanwhile, back in the field, senior Danielle Taylor won the women's high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 4.25 inches. Kurtz made her collegiate high-jumping debut by tying Julie Zweng for second at 5' 2.25", ahead of Anne Stuart at 4' 10.25".

Then on the track, senior Peter Cotsirilos took the 1,500 meters, earning a time of 3:54.42, followed by Connor Crowe in third at 3:56.08 and Robert Franklin in eighth at 4:02.83. Hannah Hull led the women's 1,500m contingent via a fourth-place 4:37.75, followed by Sierra Brill (fifth; 4:40.36), Melodie Leroudier (sixth; 4:45.28) and Rachel Bordes (eighth; 4:47.06).

Molly Ross then won the 100m hurdles, as the sophomore clocked a performance of 14.64. She was followed by Lanovaz (second at 15.02), Sydney Magdalena (fourth; 15.21), Hana Welsh (fifth; 15.62), Dresden Smith (sixth; 15.83) and Viss (seventh; 16.30).

Simultaneously, junior Megan Mooney won the javelin. The 2016 conference champion threw for a mark of 133' 2", while teammates Sarah Greenberg, Claire Pirio and Lanovaz also came in second (110' 8"), sixth (94' 4") and seventh (94' 2"). Dane Clemensen was third in the men's javelin, at 151' 4", while Ryan Gonter (sixth) and Brandon Dick (seventh) threw 132' 6" & 119' 7".

Up next, Cal Poly senior Daijah Joe-Smith won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.10 seconds. Behind her were Jazmin Moreno (third at 12.51), Abi Iriafen (seventh; 12.90) and Ralaina LiDrazzah (eighth, 12.98). In the men's 100, Nate Greenelsh finished third in 11.01 seconds and VJ Obiajulu seventh at 11.23.

In her top event, Iriafen placed second for the triple jump, landing a mark of 37' 4", while Juliana McCuaig (34' 8.5"; seventh) and James (32' 5.5"; 10th) also competed in the damp conditions. 

The Mustangs dominated the women's 800, as freshman Michelle Chandler won in 2:14.72, before Mikaela Romanini (2:15.04) along with Natalie Grohmann (2:15.16) completed a clean sweep of the top three. Thomas Heib and Thomas Schauerman added fifth and sixth-place times in the men's 800, at 1:57.40 and 1:59.30.

A bit later on the track, Cal Poly freshman Bikram Thiara won the men's 400m hurdles. Thiara, a back-to-back top-10 performer in the 300m hurdles at the 2016 & 2017 CIF State Championships, clocked a time of 56.0. Not far behind were teammates Griffin Teague (third; 56.70) and Jonathan Chagnon (fourth; 56.80).

Moreno won the ensuing event, the women's 200, tying UCSB's Morgan Simpson at precisely 25.70. Liam Martinez came in third place in the men's 200, clocking a 22.50, and teammates Tommy Andrews and Chineme Allison were fourth and eighth at 22.60 & 23.50.

Maddie McDonald led the way for an historic day in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, as the senior came in second place, with a time of 10:43.60 to move to No. 3 all-time at Cal Poly. Bryanna Fuller (fourth; 10:52.00) and Delaney Fitzsimmons (fifth; 10:58.37) also moved to No. 6 and 10 in school history for the steeple, and Michaela Barros added an 11:21.96 for seventh.

Ann Caroline Kaseberg posted a time of 58.45 to also earn second in the women's 400m, edging out fellow sophomore Julianna Ruotolo (who was close at 58.62). Mustang senior Dan Cardiff took seventh in the men's event at 51.67.

A combined 12 Mustangs ran the 3,000. For the women's team, a duo of freshmen led the way, as Angela DiPentino (10:19.30) & Abbey Fisk (10:24.70) claimed second & third, followed by Julia Vasquez (sixth; 10:26.70), Ashley Cope (seventh; 10:32.30), Ashley Heys (ninth; 10:34.80), Chase Worthen (10th; 10:36.70) and Kelsey Takeuchi (16th; 11:06.30). Cal Poly's men's squad swept spots 2 through 6, thanks to Tim Chrisman (8:33.30), Evan Jameson (8:35.20), Jake Ritter (8:35.40), Benjamin Holland (8:41.00) and Hunter Clark (8:51.60).

Alexandra Alamillo paced six Mustangs in the women's 400m hurdles, in 1:05.00, ahead of Ross (1:05.20), Nikki Boggs (1:06.50), Viss (1:06.60), Welsh (1:07.30) and Hannah Duarte (1:19.90). Bailey Thayer was also second in the men's 110m hurdles, in 15.12 seconds, ahead of fellow decathletes Jacob Rickman (15.46) and Jason Lewis (16.93).

Thayer also came in fifth place in the long jump — one of his four events during the entire meet — with a mark of 20' 10", and Lewis was next at 20' 1".

Emma Coleman also came in second in the shot put with a mark of 40' 8.75", ahead of Allison Scranton (sixth; 37' 3.75") and Viss (ninth; 33' 10.75"). Parker Jenks earned fourth in the men's shot put at 46' 7.5", followed by Rickman (44' 9.5") and Thayer (34' 0.25") in sixth and 10th. Thayer would also finish third in the men's high jump, soaring over the bar at 6' 0".

Colin Masterson posted a fourth-place hammer throw of 138' 1", while Jenks took seventh at 124' 2". Scranton was ninth in the hammer, at 110' 3", and Coleman 10th at 83' 6".

Redshirt freshman Will Smith placed second in the discus, posting a mark of 151' 2".  Jenks also threw for a fifth-place 135' 4", beyond Dick (ninth; 117' 11") and Rickman (11th; 114' 8").

Thiara, Marcus Beloney, Martinez & Lewis combined to win the men's 4x400m relay with a performance of 3:25.40 — and Beloney also teamed up with Allison, Obiajulu and Greenelsh to record a second-place 4x100m relay at 42.26. Joe-Smith, Moreno, Kaseberg and LiDrazzah also earned second in the women's 4x1, at 47.54.

The Mustangs will return with the 36th annual Cal Poly ShareSLO Invitational on March 23-24.

March 24 (at 1:40 p.m.) will also see Cal Poly dedicate its newly renovated track & field complex as the Steve Miller Track within the overall Steve Miller & John Capriotti Athletics Facility. The Alumni Weekend banquet will follow at 6 p.m.