Jonathan Godoy/HIGHLANDER
The UC Riverside track and field team competed at two different meets this past weekend as the throwing group traveled down to San Diego looking to set high marks at the UCSD Triton Invitational and at Irvine for the Steve Scott Invitational hosted by UCI. The Highlanders faced competition from not just other collegiate athletes but also from a few Olympic athletes.“We schedule the different meets to give our athletes the best possible competition environment… UCSD Triton Invitational is a perennial trip for our throwers group. The prevailing ocean breezes always seem to aid the discus and hammer in traveling farther. The Steve Scott Invitational is our typical meet two weeks out from conference and that is the one all the other athletes will go to,” said Coach Browne in an email correspondence with Highlander

The throwers found success at the UCSD Triton Invitational, as Caleb Stuart dominated in the hammer throw with a stunning distance of 58.89m placing him in third among collegians. Travis Smith threw a distance of 49.69m in the discus placing him 13th among collegians. Chima Ikeme set a new personal best with his throw of 46.36m. On the women’s side, Deja Watkins in the discus came in fifth among her collegiate peers with a throw of 50.39m. Nikki James threw a 46.73m in the discus placing her in 11th among collegians. James also competed in the hammer throw where she threw a distance of 51.95m placing her sixth among collegians.

At the Steve Scott Invitational, notable performances on the men’s side were Talal Khan qualifying for conference with a time of 14:45.35 in the 5000m where he placed third among his collegiate peers. Khan also ran a 3:58.41 in the 1500m, placing 18th overall. In the 100m, teammates Michael Hern and Hernell Dyer finished back to back, with Hern placing second with a time of 10.72 and Dyer finishing third with a time of 10.72. Bryan Adams placed second among collegians with a time of 48.19 in the 400m dash, trailing first place by just 0.06 seconds.

In the men’s field events, Ryan Swafford dominated the triple jump placing first among collegians with a jump of 15.46m. Swafford placed third among collegians in the long jump as well with a jump of 7.17m. Travis Smith finished in first among collegians in the shot put with a throw of 17.75m.

On the women’s side Katy Daly won her event among collegians in the 5000m with a time of  17:15.92. In the 1500m,  Raquel Hefflin and Damajeria Dubose finished back to back, with Dubose claiming first with a time of 4:24.27 and Hefflin placing second with a time of 4:24.41. Danielle Littleton ran a 13.99 placing third in the 100m hurdles. The Highlander 4x100m relay team of Ahmbria Ross, Nechelle Reyes, Adriana Paz and Michelle Macias placed  fifth overall with a time of 47.61 and 10th in the UCR track record book for 4x100m times.
Notable performances in the women’s field events were Deja Watkins, placing third in the shot put with a throw of 13.42m. Nikki James placed fourth with a throw of 45.95m in the discus. Ashley Gatewood finished first among collegians in the hammer throw with a toss of 57.62m.