Women Come Out Firing To Defend Big West Challenge Title

Complete Results 

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Despite having the meet rescheduled due to weather conditions, Gaucho women got off to a great start and defended their Big West Challenge title at the Titan track on Sunday while the Gaucho men finished second to Long Beach State. Among the other schools at the meet were UC Irvine and host CSU Fullerton.

The women had a phenomenal day with several athletes highlighting the field events which included multiple first place finishes from several individual athletes. 

Barbara Nwaba would take a break from the multi-events and compete in the high jump where she placed first (5-9.75) and javelin which she also won (131-9) and the 100m hurdles where she placed second (13.82). 

In the jumps, Tayler Williams placed first in the triple jump at 39-9.75 and first in the long jump. Williams and Veronica Gines would finish 1-2 in the long jump with Williams winning the event at 18-4.25 and Gines placing second at 17-10.25. Freshman Katie Lee's highest clearance of the day in the pole vault was at 10-10, placing fourth overall.

In the throws, Irene Kujore had a outstanding showing on Sunday with her win in the shot put (47-6.5) as well as the hammer throw (175-3) which beat the closest competitor by nearly 20 feet. Kathleen Guzman made a name for herself in the discus with her first place throw of 143-11 beating out UC Irvine's second place thrower by almost an entire foot. 

Justine Diaz highlighting the women's 800m with her first place time of 2:09.39. Another highlight on the women's distance side included Dani Moreno's win in the 3,000 meter run finishing in 10:05.90 and teammate Megan Petkovic finishng in 10:13.68 for second. Christine Cooperstein would aid the women to another Big West Challenge Title with her second place time of 4:37.38 in the 1,500m run. 

The Gaucho women swept the 3k steeplechase event with Jessica Chadwick winning the event in 11:17.9 followed by Cassie Brooker (11:19.8) and Ari Selix (11:40.0). Laura Kodama ran a wind-legal 12.46 in the 100m and then running a wind-aided 25.52 in the 200m. Camille Petty placed fifth in the 400m with a time of 58.38.  Amanda Rodriguez assisted the Gaucho women with her second place finish in the 400m hurdles and running 62.95

The women's 4x100m relay team consisting of Jenn Carey, Tayler Williams, Lauren Kodama and Grace Esslinger finished third (47.86). The women's 4x400m also finished in third with Kodama, Carey assisted by teammates Diaz and Rodriguez. 

The men came out strong and came out ready to fight on Sunday with highlights from Ryan Martin in the 800m, placing first with his time of 1:50.87, Shyan Vaziri winning the 1,500m run (3:48.19), and Andrew Pilavjian coming in first in the 3k steeplechase at 9:20.4. In the field events, Mike Larocca had an incredible performance in the high jump, winning the event at 6-9.75  and Alex Umstead blasting the competition in the hammer throw (191-7). 

Evan Walker brought home a third place finish in the 100m hurdles with a wind-aided time of 10.77 and Jacob Vowels placing fourth in the 200m (22.47).  Marquis Caldwell secured some valuable points in the 400m run placing second in a time of 47.84 while Anthony Masci (8:32.17) and Jeremy Acosta (8:32.60) went neck to neck in the 3k run finishing 3rd and 4th, respectively. Sean Johnson led the Gauchos in the 110m hurdles by running 14.71 followed by Humberto Garcia who ran the 400m hurdles in 56.16.

The men's 4x400m relay team placed first assisted by Caldwell, Jimmy Martin, Winton Nguyen and Ryan Martin. The men's 4x100m team placed second (Mikael Powers, Jacob Vowel, Nate Harvey, Beidi Beer) in 41.70. 

In the vertical jumps, John Walsh jumped 22-1.5 good for fifth and Karlon Johnson's farthest clearance in the triple jump was at 44-4.25. Michael Guerra led the throws placing second (199-05) while Kyle Strawn would go on place third in the shot put with his mark of 53-11. Julian Samson would go on to place third as well in the discus at 150-00. Andrew Curry led the men in the pole vault with his clearance of 15-1. 

The Gauchos will be back in action this upcoming weekend with some runners heading to the Mt. SAC Relays April 19-21 and others heading to the Azusa Pacific Invite on April 20.