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17 Wins, 11 New BWC Qualifiers Highlight Dual for Cal Poly at UCSB

17 Wins, 11 New BWC Qualifiers Highlight Dual for Cal Poly at UCSB

Mustangs add almost a dozen Big West Championship entrants while combining for 16 PRs along with 31 additional season-bests at regular-season finale

GOLETA, Calif. — Led by 17 individual event victories, the Cal Poly Track & Field program wrapped up its regular season by tallying 16 lifetime-best performances Saturday on the road against UC Santa Barbara during the annual Blue-Green Rivalry Dual.

The meet at Pauley Track, won by UCSB 104-98 on the women's side and 104-97 on the men's side, saw Cal Poly qualify 11 new participants to the Big West Championships, as just under a dozen Mustangs met the conference marks to be added to the entries for the upcoming finals.

In addition, the day in Isla Vista also included a duo of Mustangs moving into the Top 10 in school history, as several teammates also improved potential NCAA First Round seeding.


DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS HEAD INTO POSTSEASON ON WINNING NOTES: A trio of defending Big West champions each picked up wins Saturday.

Abibat Rahman-Davies won the women's triple jump with a mark of 40' 9.5" — her 10th consecutive meet exceeding 40 feet.

Meanwhile senior Sean McDermott, after recently returning to competition, bettered his season debut by 48 seconds while taking the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:13.12.

Brooke Tjerrild also continued to roll, winning the women's pole vault with a season-best clearance of 13' 5.25". The new best for 2019 bumped her up into a tie for the No. 30 spot out of 48 in NCAA first-round qualifying (46th nationally).

PAIR OF WINS FOR SCRANTON INCLUDES HISTORIC THROW: In addition to her victorious discus performance of 152 feet even, Mustang senior Allison Scranton also won the hammer throw with a mark of 157' 8". The latter places her No. 5 all-time for Cal Poly.

BILO RETURNS WITH FIRST-PLACE 3,000: Mustang redshirt junior Peyton Bilo, an All-American in the 5,000 meters in 2017, made her return to the track this spring in the 3,000m, winning in 9:54.12.

ELEVEN MORE WINS: Cal Poly tallied 11 more wins in a variety of events Saturday. Kevin Ward established a squad-best height while winning the men's pole vault, clearing 16' 2.75". For the entirety of this spring, Ward's height ranks No. 2 around the conference, trailing only the 16' 10" vault from UC Davis' Jered Espanola.

True freshman Nick Betchart also improved his season-best effort, moving to No. 4 throughout the Big West for the men's shot put while winning with a heave of 55 feet. Approaching the finale of his first year, Betchart is within almost one-and-a-half feet of entering the Top 10 for school history. Betchart's mark also places him among the Top 25 in the country for freshman shot-putters.

Justin Robison also posted a career-best showing while winning the men's 3,000m via 8:20.51, as did Bailey Thayer for the men's high jump (6' 8.75") along with Julianna Ruotolo in the women's high jump (5' 5", a conference finals-qualifying height), as well as Alex Merder in the men's 1,500m (3:49.73), where his PR fronted a sweep including Anthony Benitez (3:52.74) followed by Elias Opsahl (3:53.49).

Cal Poly swept the 200s, courtesy of Ann Caroline Kaseberg (25.10) & Tyler Esteves (22.44). More victories were scored by Ryan Gonter (165' 1" in the men's javelin), Bobby Poynter (1:52.87 for the men's 800m) and the women's 4x400m relay squad of Kaila Bishop, Natalie Grohmann, Mikaela Romanini & Erin Moss (a season-best 3:53.44).

FISK MAKES HISTORY IN STEEPLE: Cal Poly sophomore Abbey Fisk moved to No. 9 in program history for the women's 3,000m steeplechase, as she took second place Saturday in 10:55.84, good for the No. 3 ranking around the conference despite it being her first career attempt at the event.

Teammate Delaney Fitzsimmons, already No. 5 all-time for the steeple, added a third-place 11:00.07, another season-best.

TEAMMATES ALSO PUNCHING TICKETS TO BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Several Mustang teammates joined in posting conference championship-qualifying finishes Saturday:

Kaseberg came in second (via a new PR of 56.13 seconds) while meeting the Big West standard for the women's 400 meters. Kaila Bishop led three qualifiers in the women's 800m, as she took third place with a time of 2:14.80, ahead of Michelle Chandler (2:15.01) and Hannah Hull (2:15.12). Mikaela Romanini, already-qualified at 2:11.18, came in second at 2:12.10.

Heptathlete Caice Lanovaz also qualified in her second event regardless of multis, as she came in third for the 100m hurdles by clocking a season-best of 14.62 seconds.

Elsewhere, freshman John Walther stamped his ticket with a fourth-place high jump of 6' 4.75"; Adam Gockel qualified thanks to a fourth-place pole vault of 15' 3"; and freshman Erin Moss advanced to the postseason upon a fourth-place 400m hurdles effort of 1:03.82.

SMITH CLOSE TO BETTERING REGIONAL RANKING: Cal Poly sophomore Will Smith — who came into the day ranked No. 63 in the region for the men's discus — almost matched his best throw Saturday. Smith finished second with a mark of 170 feet exactly, 11 inches back of his PR which ranks fifth conference-wide.

MORE PRs FROM SATURDAY: Fellow Mustangs also earning career-bests in Isla Vista included:
- Hana Welsh (second in the 400m hurdles, at 1:03.48)
- Thayer in the long jump (21' 8.25" for third place)
- Emma Coleman (42' 0.75" in the shot put, good for third place)
- Miranda Daschian (4:24.89, earning second in the women's 1,500m, besting Sierra Brill's third-place 4:33.41 and Hull's fourth-place 4:34.18)
- Angela DiPentino (with a third-place 3,000 of 10:08.97)
- Damien Trunkey (a collegiate-career best long jump of 21' 8", taking fourth)
- Jake Ritter (a fifth-place 3,000 of 8:29.14)
- decathlete Jason Lewis in the pole vault (14' 9")

- Molly Ross (14.22, good for second in the 100m hurdles)
- Men's 4x400m Relay — Bikram Thiara / Bobby Poynter / Marcus Beloney / Jason Lewis (second-place 3:18.68)
- Lanovaz (tied her earlier long jump, taking second with a mark of 18' 8")
- Bailey Jones (second place in the men's long jump, at 21' 10.75")
- Michaela Barros (11:30.02 in the steeplechase) 
- Devon Cetti (159' 5" in the hammer throw, good for second)
- Raymond Yan (15.44, third in the 110m hurdles)
- Jack Doolittle (49.43, third in the men's 400m)
- Kheva Mann (1:54.93, sixth in the men's 800m)
- A trio of Mustang freshmen in the men's 3,000: John Bennett (8:22.87); Xian Shively (8:29.06) and William Fallini-Haas (8:33.10)
- Two Mustang freshmen in the women's 800m: Misty Diaz (2:18.38) and Presley Roldan (2:19.00)
- Sydnie Rivas in the women's 3,000 (10:25.93)
- Kristen Wallace in the women's javelin (107' 2")

UP NEXT: The multis will take center-stage in the week ahead, as the Big West Decathlon and Heptathlon Championships will be held May 3-4.

The Gauchos will host the conference finals, with the majority of the meet returning to Pauley Track on May 10-11.