May 6, 2009

Eight Matador Athletes to Compete as Big West Multi-Events Open Friday

May 6, 2009

Eight Cal State Northridge multi-event athletes are set to compete as the 2009 Big West Track & Field Championships open Friday, May 8 at UC Irvine's Anteater Stadium.

In the decathlon, Robert Robinson, Lance Gonzales, Owen Morse, Jonathan Talkington and Michael Woodham are among 16 decathletes scheduled to compete. Sherrina Lofton, Shelese Ruffin and Stella Dugall will represent Northridge among the 12 athletes in the heptathlon.

Robinson, a junior from Los Angeles, has finished as the runner-up in the Big West decathlon in each of the last two seasons. Last season, Robinson scored a career-best 7,020 points to finish second to Long Beach State's Chris Richardson (7,461). His point total is the fifth-best in Northridge history. In 2007, Robinson finished second to Cal Poly's James Nunno after posting 6,656 points.

Nunno comes into the decathlon competition with the best point total in the Big West this season at 7,142. Teammate Corbin Duer ranks second with a point total of 7,071.

Robinson, who finished second in the heptathlon at the MPSF Indoor Championships in February, has not competed in a full decathlon this outdoor season.

Gonzales is also a threat after finishing sixth in the MPSF heptathlon. A jump and throws specialist, Gonzales owns the top Northridge mark in the javelin this season at 185-5 (56.53) and is second among Matador men in the long jump and fourth in the high jump.

Morse owns a fifth-place finish in the Big West decathlon in 2008 after scoring a career-best 6,336 points. He also finished sixth in 2007 after posting a point total of 6,146.

Talkington and Woodham will each be making his debut in the decathlon this weekend.

In the heptathlon, Lofton comes in as the top-ranked athlete with a lifetime-best point total of 5,420 points which ranks second in Northridge history. Lofton posted her career-best at the Northridge Spring Break Open in March. UC Irvine's Lauren Collins has the highest point total in the Big West this season but will miss this weekend's heptathlon with an injury.

Lofton, the 2008 Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Year, finished eighth in the 2008 Big West heptathlon after scoring a then career-best 4,325 points.

Ruffin finished in third place, one spot behind teammate Desirae Gonder, in last season's Big West heptathlon in Northridge. Ruffin amassed a career-best 5,032 points in 2008, the fifth-best total in school history. Ruffin has not competed in a heptathlon yet this season.

Dugall comes into this weekend ranked sixth among conference heptathletes with a career-best point total of 4,641. She scored her season and career-best at the Northridge Spring Break Open in March. Dugall figures to score well in the hurdles and jumps.

The decathlon events open on Friday at 2 p.m. followed by the opening of the heptahlon events at 2:30 p.m. Saturday kicks off with the last five decathlon events at 11 a.m. with the final day of the heptathlon commencing at 1 p.m.

All events will take place at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine. The multi-event competition is free to the public.

DIRECTIONS TO ANTEATER STADIUM Exit the San Diego FWY (405S) @ Jamboree Road (exit 7). Turn right off the exit ramp onto Jamboree and proceed one mile to Campus Drive. Turn left on Campus and proceed one mile to University Drive. Turn right onto University and make the first left onto Mesa Road. Proceed on Mesa to the parking structure on your right. The Stadium is behind the tennis courts directly behind the parking structure.

PARKING Spectators are encouraged to park in the Mesa Structure for the multi and Championship weekends. There will be an attendant available to purchase a parking permet. ALL VEHICLES MUST DISPLAY A PARKING PERMIT IN THE STRUCTURE.

There will be NO PARKING AVAILABLE in the Dorm parking lots.

- GO MATADORS -

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