The UC Riverside track and field teams competed at the All-Cal Challenge Cup meet on Saturday, their first outdoor meet of the season. The Highlanders competed against UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine among others.

In the men’s running events, Omar Gonzalez and Benjamin Heck placed 12th and 13th, respectively in the 1500m race. Gonzalez had a time of 4:01.50, while Heck had a time of 4:03.83. In the 400m race, Peter Guenther placed second with a time of 48.77 which made him a Big West qualifier.  In the 100m dash, Bryan Adams placed first with a time of 10.87. In the 800m, Michael Koger placed ninth with a time of 1:57.00. In the 400m hurdles, Kenneth Grimble placed third with a time of 55.65 and Eric Evan finished right after Grimble with a time 56.63. In the 200m dash, Hernell Dyer placed second with a time of 21.69. Jerome Rideaux placed fourth with a time of 22.29. In the 4x400m relay, the team of Kevin Fashola, Michael Koger, Kenneth Grimble and Bryan Adams placed second with a time of 3:17.07.

In the men’s field events, Caleb Stuart placed first in the hammer throw with a solid throw of 62.10m. In the long jump, Ted Hooper placed first with a career-best jump of 7.08m. In the triple jump, Ryan Swafford placed first with a jump of 15.04m. Travis Smith had a big day as he placed first in the discus with a throw of 50.96m. In the shot put, Smith set a new school record with a throw of 17.81m, coming in first once again.

In the women’s running events, Damajeria Dubose came in first in the 1500m event with a time of 4:34.97, while teammate Brittany Reimer came in third with a time of 4:39.79. In the women’s 100m hurdles, Danielle Littleton came in second with a time of 13.93. In the 100m dash, Yozmine Modeste came in first with a time of 12.32. In the 800m, Raquel Hefflin and Alisha Brown had a neck and neck finish, as Hefflin got an extra step to finish in first, ahead of Brown who placed second. Both finished with a time 2:11.02.

In the women’s field events, Nikki James placed first in the hammer throw with a throw of 50.18m. James placed second in the discus with a 44.58m throw. In the javelin event, Ashley Gatewood placed first with a throw of 46.45m. Gatewood placed second in the shot put with a throw of 13.17m.

When asked about the difference between indoor and outdoor competition, Coach Browne said, “It’s somewhat different because our kids will start to race their real outdoor distances.  We don’t focus too much on the early season races, but it’s a chance to compete nonetheless. Nearly everyone on the squad will get a chance to do one or two events each. It also serves as a training opportunity, but since there is live competition, there is a double benefit.”

“Both teams have a chance to do really well come the end of the season,” Coach Browne continued, “so each week we want to make progress towards that goal. The men need to continue to perform at a high level and I have no doubts our women will begin to pull together across all event areas and show the promise that this coaching knows they have.  It’ll be a fun start to the season with All-Cal meet this week and the Santa Barbara dual next week.  The season will be rolling along rather quickly from that point. We can’t wait.”

UC Riverside’s track and field teams will host their first home meet since 2005 on March 10 at the UCR Track Stadium.