Jonathan Godoy/HIGHLANDER

The UC Riverside track and field team hosted its first home meet since 2005 on Saturday afternoon in a dual meet versus UC Santa Barbara. The UCR women’s team took home first place, narrowly winning 92-86. The men’s team had to settle for second, losing narrowly by six points, 87-93. The meet was extremely close, making the final events very significant. The new UC Riverside track stadium boasts an eight lane, Rekortan M99 world championship surface and hosted its first meet since 2005.

“The new track facility is remarkably overdue,” said Chancellor Timothy White in a press release. “We are now, for the first time in many years, able to host home meets so our student-athletes can perform in front of their friends, family and the campus community.”

The field events kick-started the day with a win from Ashley Gatewood in the javelin event with a throw of 48.85m. In the hammer throw, Nikki James placed first with a throw of 54.56m while Gatewood came in at second with a throw of 52.06m. In the discus event, James threw for 48.47m for first place narrowly edging out teammate Deja Watkins who threw a distance of 48.11m. In the jumps the Highlanders secured two first-place finishes by Danielle Littleton in the women’s long jump with a leap of 5.66m and Jazmine Lewis in the triple jump with a leap of 11.39m.

In the men’s field event, Travis Smith took first place in the shot put event with a throw of 17.24m. Smith was not done as he also took first in the discus event with a throw of 51.10. In the hammer throw, Caleb Stuart finish place with a throw of 59.62m. In the jumps, Ted Hooper took first place in the long jump with a career-best jump of 7.26m. Ryan Swafford took second place in the long jump with a jump of 6.77m. Swafford also earned first place in the triple jump with a leap of 15.77m.

In the running events, the women’s team did very well, picking up a couple of victories to secure their overall team victory. In the 400m dash, Yozmine Modeste picked up five points for the Highlanders with her first-place finish at a time of 56.52. In the 800m, Alisha Brown finished in first place with a time of 2:14.54. Adriana Paz ran a 1:03.62 in the 400m hurdles, placing first.
In the 1500m, Raquel Hefflin placed first with a run of 4:39.65 and was followed up by Damajeria Dubose who placed second with a time of 4:40.20. In the final event of the day, the team of Brown, Paz, Michelle Macias and Modeste won the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:49.81, edging out the UC Santa Barbara team by a bare second.

In the men’s running events, the Highlanders got off to a good start, winning the first running event of the day, the 4×100 relay, as the team of Justin Harris, Hernell Dyer, Michael Hern and Bryan Adams took first with a time of 41.14. In the 100m dash, Dyer took home first with a time of 10.884 and Hern placed second with a time of 10.889. In the 200m dash, Bryan Adams took home first place with a time of 21.71. In the 400 hurdles race, Sean Ferrera finished first with a time of 52.13. In the 3,000m distance race, Chad Hall ran a 8:33.74 which was good for a first-place finish.

The Highlanders will compete next at the Arizona State Baldy Castillo Invitational on March 16 and 17.