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Cal Poly Wins 14 Events at UCSB for Blue-Green Rivalry Dual Meet

Cal Poly Wins 14 Events at UCSB for Blue-Green Rivalry Dual Meet

Iriafen, Levy Post Top-10 Performances in School History; Thiara Sweeps Hurdles as Mustangs Wrap Regular Season vs. Gauchos


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Sixteen Cal Poly student-athletes combined to win 14 events on Saturday at UC Santa Barbara, leading the Mustang track & field program as the team wrapped up the regular season on the road with the Blue-Green Rivalry hosted at the Gauchos' refurbished Pauley Track.

UCSB prevailed on both team sides at home, as the Gaucho men won 110-85, and the women's squad 101.5-93.5 during the opening of their on-campus facility. This is the 16th consecutive year the two rivals have met head-to-head (although the all-time series goes back decades).

Mustang sophomore Abi Iriafen dominated the women's triple jump, winning with a mark of 41 feet, 8.5 inches — topping the rest of the field by a margin of 1' 7". The performance moved Iriafen (whose best as a freshman was 40' 4") from No. 9 to No. 4 in school history.

As of Saturday evening, Iriafen's 41' 8.5" ranked tied for 26th in the Western Region, in strong position for an upcoming trip to the NCAA postseason prelims set for May 24-26 at Sacramento State (as well as 50th nationally; 12th in the country among sophomores). Also a member of the all-time Cal Poly Top 10 for the triple jump, junior Kalesi Budei joined Iriafen achieving a season-best Saturday, placing fifth at 38' 6.75".

Bikram Thiara won a pair of events for the Mustangs in Isla Vista. Thiara, a freshman from Manteca, first won the 110-meter hurdles, clocking a season-best 14.79 seconds (ahead of teammate Bailey Thayer at 15.20), before less than an hour later also bettering his PR in the 400m hurdles with a victory in 52.27 seconds — just four-hundredths away from entering the Top 10 in program history, and potentially a qualifier for the NCAA first round (ranking 48th regionally).

Chineme Allison also won with a season-best performance, taking first place in the 100-meter dash at 10.85 seconds. Nate Greenelsh also clocked a season-fastest time of 10.93 as the Mustangs went 1-2.

Cal Poly freshmen swept the pole vault, as Brooke Tjerrild earned her fifth win of the year at 13' 1.25" (above Kayla Myers in third at 12' 7.5"), and Enzo Sison smashed his lifetime-best by more than eight inches, winning by clearing 16' 0.75" (with Brad Beekman No. 2 at 15' 8.75"). Sison's height ranks No. 3 in the conference for 2018.

Ciara Levy won the 100m hurdles in a career-best time of 14.03 seconds, moving into a tie for the No. 8 spot in school history, as she improved upon her PR of 14.10 (achieved twice previously). Teammate Molly Ross was second behind Levy, in 14.48, while Hana Welsh (15.14), Dresden Smith (15.33) and Hannah Duarte (15.41) came in fourth-through-sixth.

Maddie McDonald won the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 10:43.71, while sophomore Bryanna Fuller followed in third at 11:41.02.

Fellow senior Liam Martinez scored another win in the 400 meters, getting back under 49 seconds (48.97) for the seventh time since the 2016 Big West finals. Martinez would also place second in the 200, in 22.32, trailed by Greenelsh (22.63), VJ Obiajulu (22.86) and Allison (23.07).

Megan Mooney picked up a win in the women's javelin with a throw of 134' 11.5", and Dane Clemensen finished third in the men's with a mark of 175' 9".

Allison Scranton added a first-place finish in the women's discus, via a throw of 150' 2.25", and Julie Zweng scored another victory in the field events, winning the high jump clearing 5' 6.75".

Daijah Joe-Smith led the Mustangs in the women's 100-meter dash, coming in second place in 11.96 seconds, while Jazmin Moreno took fourth at 12.27. Joe-Smith returned to win the 200 in 24.92, and Moreno added third-place points at 25.39.

Ann Caroline Kaseberg, who already had a conference championship-qualifying time in the 400 meters, improved her season-best performance to a (second-place) 56.62. Cal Poly also won the women's 4x100m relay thanks to Joe-Smith, Levy, Ross and Kaseberg besting UCSB 46.91 - 47.32. The Gaucho men's relay edged the Mustangs 42.18 - 42.36. 

Competing alongside one of the country's top-25 discus throwers, Gaucho junior Kordell Hampton (who threw 181' 8.25"), Mustang redshirt freshman Will Smith crushed his PR, reaching 168' 1.5" for second. Smith's mark ranks No. 8 around the Big West this spring.

Meanwhile senior Swarnjit Boyal, an NCAA qualifier in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters during his career, ran his first-ever steeple as a Mustang, coming in second place in 9:38.18, meeting the Big West Championship-qualifying cutoff in his debut for the event.

Two Cal Poly sophomores tallied season-best long jump performances, as Caice Lanovaz took second place with a mark of 19' 3.75" and Iriafen was fourth at 18' 11.5". A trio of Mustangs exceeded 21 feet on the men's side — also all in season-best fashion: Damien Trunkey (second, landing at 21' 1.5"), John Shaw (tied for third at 21' 1") and Obiajulu (21' 1"). Trunkey also came in second place in the triple jump at 44' 10", and Shaw was fourth at 44' 6.25".

Miranda Daschian paced Cal Poly in the women's 1,500 meters with a second-place season-best of 4:35.40, and Peter Cotsirilos also came in second in the men's 1,500, in 3:49.02. Mikaela Romanini fronted Cal Poly in the women's 800, running a second-place 2:15.60, and Connor Crowe (1:53.02) was also second in the men's 800.

Ross would finish second in the 400m hurdles in 1:05.56, ahead of Welsh (third; 1:05.69), Nikki Boggs (fourth; 1:06.37) and Alexandra Alamillo (fifth; 1:06.52). Griffin Teague also recorded a season-best men's 400m hurdles time for Cal Poly, taking third place in 55.88.

Each of the Mustangs' leaders in the hammer throw also posted season-bests, as freshman Colin Masterson earned fourth place at 153' 8.75", and Scranton claimed sixth reaching 135' 0.75". Additionally, Scranton took fifth place in the shot put at 37' while Parker Jenks posted a season-best 48' 10.5" in the men's shot, good for third.

In the 3,000m, Benjamin Holland led the Cal Poly men, taking second place with a time of 9:03.27 (edging Jake Ritter's 9:03.50), and Kelsey Takeuchi posted a fifth-place 10:24.67, ahead of Ashley Heys (10:26.32), Delaney Fitzsimmons (10:27.96) and Angela DiPentino (10:31.29).

The Mustangs' decathletes (Jacob Rickman, Bailey Thayer & Jason Lewis) and heptathletes (Caice Lanovaz & Keana Viss) take center stage next weekend as the postseason begins with the Big West Multi-Event Championships, at CSUN from May 4-5.

Then the full Conference Finals return to Matador Track & Field Complex May 11-12, with the latter day televised by FOX Sports Prime Ticket.