The UC Riverside men’s and women’s teams both finished fifth at the Big West Conference Championship this past weekend. The championship meet was hosted by UC Irvine. The men’s team had their highest finish in school history, gathering 102 points and winning 20 percent of their events. They also trailed fourth place Cal Poly by just nine points. The women’s team finished with 82 points, coming in fifth for the third straight year. UC Santa Barbara men’s team won the team title with 179 points. UC Davis women’s team won the women’s team title with 179 points, beating out second place UC Santa Barbara (169.5) by just half of a point. The Highlanders had six individual champions at the meet in their respective events.
“We are looking for a top three finish on both sides. Our men are more set up to do it in and of themselves. The women’s side need some events to fall more in our favor to make it happen. Either way this will probably be one of our best combined finishes for both genders,” said Coach Browne before the meet.
On the men’s side, Caleb Stuart took home first place in the hammer throw with a throw of 61.99m. Travis Smith also took first place in the shot put with a throw of 18.22m. Ted Hooper with a leap of 7.53m came in first in the long jump. Hooper’s mark was his best mark for the 2012 season. Ryan Swafford, took the triple jump championship title with a jump of 15.71m. The relay squad of Justin Harris, Hernell Dyer, Bryan Adams and Michael Hern finished second in the 4x100m relay with a time of 40.70. Harris running the 200m dash, set a new school record with a time of 21.24, finishing in third place. In the 400m dash, Adams placed fourth with a time 48.57.
On the women’s side Ashley Gatewood was the lone women’s champion, as she took first in the javelin with a throw of 48.53. In the discus, Nikki James placed third with a throw of 47.75m. Gatewood (53.01m) and James (52.82m) both placed third and fourth respectively in the hammer throw. Danielle Littleton placed second in the long jump with a leap of 5.82m. Damajeria Dubose and Raquel Hefflin claimed All-Conference as they finish back to back in the 1500m, with Dubose placing second with a time of 4:33.02 and Hefflin finishing third with a time of 4:33.09. In 100m hurdles, Littleton claim her second All-Conference honor, finishing third with a time of 13.99. Briana Kennedy-Feldhaus also ran in the 100m hurdles, finishing fifth with a new personal best time of 14.9.
Next on the schedule for the UCR track and field team is the NCAA West Regional Championships at the Mike A. Myers Track Stadium in Austin, TX, starting on May 24th.