NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge men's and women's track & field programs look to get off to a strong start Friday as the multi-events portion of the conference championship gets underway at UC Davis' Woody Wilson Track.
CSUN will send four women to compete in the heptathlon while two men will contest the decathlon. The heptathlon's 100 meter hurdles will be the first event of the day, Friday at 1 p.m. The decathlon opens 30 minutes later with the 100 meters. Four heptathlon events will be contested Friday while the men will complete five events.
The decathlon opens the competition Saturday with the 110 meter hurdles, the first of five events, at 11 a.m. The heptathlon resumes at 1 p.m. with the long jump, the first of three events to wrap up the competition.
Stephanie Hicks, Olympia Jewett, Emma Millard and Jealinda Mills form a formidable quartet for the Matadors in the heptathlon while Taylor Cudequest and Grant Weiss will look to etch their names among the conference's top all-around athletes in the decathlon.
The Matador women scored five points in the hepathlon in 2013 in Northridge while the men scored three in the decathlon. CSUN has won a total of three Big West heptathlon titles but have not reached the top of the podium since Sherrina Lofton won her second in 2011. Lofton also won in 2009 and LaShana Verdon claimed the title in 2006. The Matador men won their one and only Big West decathlon in 2010 when Robert Robinson scored a school record 7,526 points.
"Our goal this weekend is to try to score points for both the men's and women's squads," said CSUN head coach Avery Anderson. "These conference championships are going to be about fighting for every point and whatever we can do to earn points going into next weekend will help."
Hicks, a senior from Hamilton, NJ, is making her second appearance in the Big West heptathlon after finishing fifth (four points) in 2013. One of CSUN's top hurdlers, Hicks scored a personal-best 4,773 points last season and was the top Matador finisher. She has the top 100 meter hurdle time in the Big West this season at 13.74.
Jewett, a junior from Inglewood, is making her third appearance in the Big West hepathlon but first since 2012 after redshirting last season. Jewett scored a lifetime-best 5,040 points to finish third as a sophomore in 2012 and was 11th as a freshman in 2011 after scoring 4,488 points. Her personal-best (5,040) ranks eighth in CSUN heptathlon history.
Mills, a senior from Merced, is making her second appearance after finishing eighth (one point) as a junior. Mills finished second to Hicks among CSUN's heptathletes last year after scoring 4,478 points. She brings a career-best total of 4,525 into this weekend's championship.
Millard, who redshirted her first season at CSUN in 2013, is making her Big West heptathlon debut on Friday.
Cudequest, a sophomore from Montvale, NJ, is making his second appearance in the Big West decathlon. He scored a personal-best 6,183 points in finishing ninth as a freshman in 2013.
Weiss, a sophomore from Oxnard, is making his decathlon debut. He, along with Cudequest, competed in the Northridge Mulit's to open the outdoor season but did not complete all 10 events.
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Photo courtesy of Bobby Hestor Photography