Cal State Northridge Sends 23 Men and Women to NCAA West Region Championships

May 26, 2010

The Cal State Northridge men's and women's track and field teams head to the 2010 NCAA West Region Championships in Austin, Texas beginning Thursday, May 27. The three-day championship meet takes place Thursday through Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas. The Region Championship opens with the men's javelin on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. CDT and concludes on Saturday with the women's 4x400 relay at 9:45 p.m. CDT. The Northridge women are coming off their fifth consecutive Big West Championship, while the Matador men won their second consecutive conference championship and fourth in the last six years.

NCAA West Region Championship Central

MEET RESULTS Live meet results following each event of the NCAA West Region Championships will be posted on the West Region page at www.TexasSports.com with complete results available at the end of each day.

WEST REGIONAL PREVIEW 23 Matador men and women will attempt to finish among the top-12 finishers in each event and advance to the NCAA Championships June 9-12 at Oregon's Hayward Field. The top-12 finishers at the two NCAA regionals being contested this weekend - at Austin, Texas, and Greensboro, N.C. - will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships June 9-12 in Eugene. The number of rounds vary at the regionals. In every distance between 100 and 1,500 meters (plus the two hurdles) an NCAA "First Round" and "Quarterfinal" will be conducted to determine the 12 qualifiers for Eugene. In the steeplechase, quarterfinals will be held at the regional meets. In the 5,000 and 10,000 meters semifinal races will be conducted at the regional meets with the top 12 advancing to the finals in Eugene. In the field events, qualifying rounds will be held at the regionals to advance the 12 competitors to the NCAA Championships. The exemptions to the regional format are the decathlon and the heptathlon, where the top 24 from the national descending order list, including Northridge's Robert Robinson in the decathlon and Desirae Gonder in the heptathlon, have automatically advanced to Eugene.

MATADOR MEN'S PREVIEW Led by senior Derek Cooper and junior Reindell Cole, 10 Northridge men will attempt to advance to the NCAA Championships. Cooper is making his fourth appearance in the West Region Championships while Cole is making his third straight region championship appearance. Cole comes in as the highest ranked Matador athlete as the 2010 Big West champion ranks eighth in the long jump field with a distance of 25-5.50 (7.76). Cole is also crucial to Northridge's hopes in the 4x100 relay. Lance Gonzales, the 2010 Big West Field Athlete of the Year, will make his second trip this season and will compete in both the high jump and javelin. Alex Butler, who also makes his third appearance in the region championship and is scheduled to compete in the hammer after coming off his conference championship two weeks ago while Awet Hagos makes his debut in the triple jump. On the track, senior Bradley Ike leads the Northridge sprinters as he will compete in the 100 meters and spearhead the 4x100 relay. David Reid earned a spot in both the 100 and 200 meters and will compete in the same first round heat of the 100 with Ike. Ben Santos and Robert Robinson will add depth to the relays while Michael Woodham looks for success in the 110 hurdles.

MATADOR WOMEN'S PREVIEW The Northridge women's contingent of 13 will be led by the all-around talents of senior Shelese Ruffin. Ruffin makes her third appearance in the NCAA West Region Championships and will compete in the 400 meters, long jump and possibly both relays. Ruffin claimed the Big West long jump championship and was second in the 400 meters despite running a lifetime-best. Sophomore Precious Watkins will make her second appearance in the 100 meters after finishing eighth in 2009. Also on the track, Jasmine Cox will compete in the 800 meters, Lilyana Morejon will compete in the grueling 10,000 meters and LaShandra Batiste will run the 400 meter hurdles. Desirae Gonder, Sierra Brooks and Jackie Harrison will look to help Northridge advance in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. In the field events, the Matadors will be represented in three of the four throwing events as Big West champion Morgan Bogard represents the Matadors in the hammer, Whitney Hooks qualifies in the shot put and both Stephanie Ralls and Haylee Varner will compete in the javelin. Tiana Webberley looks to cap an impressive freshman season as the Big West Freshman of the Year looks to break through in the pole vault. Webberley has the confidence of her first conference championship two weeks ago to build on.

CAPSULES OF MATADORS COMPETING AT THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL

Alex Butler, Throws, 5-11, Senior, Orange, Calif., El Modena HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Butler earns his third trip to the NCAA Region Championships this season ... qualifies for both the shot put and hammer ... comes in ranked 34th in the region in the hammer with a season and career-best of 192-5 (58.65) and ranks 26th among shot putters with a season-best of 57-0 (17.37) ... was the Big West champion in the hammer and finished fourth in the shot put ... brings a career-best of 58-4.75 (17.80) in the shot put into the Regional ... also qualified for the NCAA West Regional in the shot put in 2008, finishing 16th and reached the Regionals in the hammer in 2007, placing 26th.

Reindell Cole, Jumps/Sprints, 6-3, Junior, Las Vegas, Nev., Desert Pines HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Cole makes his third consecutive trip to the NCAA West Region Championship in the long jump and will also run the 200 meters and be a part of the Matadors' 4x100 relay team ... ranks eighth in the region in the long jump with a season-best of 25-5.50 (7.76) and ranks 34th in the 200 meters with a season and career-best time of 21.23 ... also ran the anchor leg of the Big West Champion 4x100 relay team ... Northridge is ranked eighth in the region with a top time of 39.86 ... brings a lifetime-best of 26-9.75 (8.17) in the long jump into the regional ... finished second in the long jump at the 2009 NCAA Regional in Eugene, Ore. and was sixth in 2008 ... won his second Big West long jump championship in 2010.

Derek Cooper, Throws, 6-2, Senior, Las Vegas, Nev., Desert Pines HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Cooper qualifies for his fourth NCAA West Region Championship in both the shot put and discus ... ranks 14th in the shot put with a season-best of 59-2.25 (18.04) and ranks 20th in the discus with a season-best of 181-10 (55.42) ... is a three-time Big West champion in the discus after winning the 2010 championship with a toss of 180-6 (55.02) ... has won two of he last three conference shot put titles after also taking this season's championship with a mark of 58-7.50 (17.87) ... owns a lifetime-best of 186-5 (56.83) in the discus and 59-2.75 (18.05) in the shot put ... finished 11th in both the discus and shot at the 2009 regional in Eugene, Ore. ... placed seventh in the discus and eighth in the shot put in the 2008 NCAA Regional and was 18th in the discus in 2007.

Lance Gonzales, Throws/Jumps, 5-11, Senior, Murrieta, Calif., Murrieta Valley HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Gonzales makes his second straight appearance in the NCAA West Region Championships ... qualifies this season in the high jump and javelin ... ranks 40th in the high jump with a career-best height of 6-10.25 (2.09) which won the 2010 Big West championship ... ranks 48th in the javelin with a season-best mark of 199-9 (60.88) ... has thrown 209-2 (63.76) as a career-best ... finished 12th in the javelin at his first regional championship at the University of Oregon in 2009.

Awet Hagos, Jumps, 6-5, Senior, Los Angeles, Calif., Beverly Hills HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Hagos will be making his NCAA Region Championship debut in the triple jump ... ranks 48th with a career and season-best of 49-3 (15.01) ... posted his lifetime-best mark in finishing fourth at the 2010 Big West Championships.

Bradley Ike, Sprints, 6-1, Senior, Pomona, Calif., Diamond Ranch HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Ike earns his second trip to the NCAA West Region Championships in 2010 ... will compete in the 100 meters as well as Northridge's 4x100 relay ... ranks 17th in the 100 meters with a lifetime and season-best of 10.42 ... won the Matadors' second straight Big West 100 meter championship in 2010 ... ran the second leg of the conference champion 4x100 relay team that posted a season-best time of 39.86 which ranks eighth in the West Region ... also reached the West Region Championship in 2008 finishing fourth in the 100 (10.57) and 16th in the 200 meters (21.35).

David Reid, Sprints, 6-1, Junior, Fenton, Mo., Rockwood HS/Sacramento CC

HOW HE GOT HERE Reid qualifies for his first NCAA West Region Championship ... will run the 100 and 200 meters as well as the 4x100 relay ... ran season-bests of 10.58 in the 100 and a Northridge-best 21.10 in the 200 ... comes into the Region Championships ranked 25th in the 200 and 41st in the 100 ... the Northridge 4x100 relay team is ranked eighth (39.86) ... earned his first Big West championship in the 200 meters and was fourth in the 100 at the conference meet.

Robert Robinson, Sprints, 6-5, Senior, Los Angeles, Calif., Santa Monica HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Robinson qualifies for his second straight NCAA West Region Championship ... will be among six sprinters in the 4x100 relay pool ... won the Big West decathlon with a lifetime-best total of 7,526 points which ranks ninth in the nation ... has a season-best time of 10.83 in the 100 Meters which he ran at the Big West Multi-Event Championships on MAy 8 ... qualified for the 2009 NCAA West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore. in the 110 Meter Hurdles ... ran 14.11 in the prelims but did not reach the event final.

Ben Santos, Sprints, 5-8, Senior, Galt, Calif., Galt HS/Sacramento CC

HOW HE GOT HERE Santos makes his second consecutive trip to the NCAA West Region Championships ... will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x100 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x100 relay in a time of 39.86 and comes in ranked eighth in the region ... ran a season-best of 10.73 in the 100 at the Cal-Nevada Championships on Mar. 28 ... running the opening leg, the Matadors finished fourth in the 4x100 relay at the 2009 NCAA West Region Championship in Eugene, Ore.

Michael Woodham, Hurdles/Sprints, 6-2, Sophomore, Phoenix, Ariz., Mountain Pointe HS

HOW HE GOT HERE Woodham makes his second straight appearance in the NCAA West Region Championships ... is scheduled to run in the 110 Meter Hurdles ... ranks 41st in the region with a season and lifetime-best of 14.40 ... ran 14.62 to finish second at the Big West Championships ... qualified for the 2009 NCAA West Region Championships as a member of the 4x100 meter relay.

LaShandra Batiste, Sprints, 5-8, Freshman, Covina, Calif., Charter Oak HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Batiste is making her first trip to the NCAA West Region Championships in the 400 Meter Hurdles and is among six Matador sprinters available in the 4x100 relay ... comes in ranked 41st in the region in the 400 Hurdles with a season and career-best time of 1:00.76 ... ran her lifetime-best at the Mt. SAC Relays on Apr. 17 ... the Matadors come in ranked 17th in the 4x100 with a season-best of 45.35, set in winning the 2010 Big West Championship.

Morgan Bogard, Throws, 5-9, Senior, La Mesa, Calif., University of San Diego HS/San Diego Mesa CC

HOW SHE GOT HERE Bogard qualifies for her second NCAA West Region Championship in the hammer ... is ranked 16th in the region with a season and lifetime-best of 193-3 (58.90) ... threw her career-best at the Steve Scott Invitational on May 2 ... won the Big West hammer title with a mark of 189-6 (57.77) ... finished 12th in the hammer at the 2008 NCAA West Region Championship in Northridge ... was also 14th in the discus.

Sierra Brooks, Sprints, 5-8, Freshman, Covina, Calif., Charter Oak HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Brooks is making her first trip to the NCAA West Region Championships as a member of Northridge's 4x100 relay team ... the Matadors come in ranked 17th in the 4x100 with a season-best of 45.35, set in winning the 2010 Big West Championship ... ran the third leg and has a season-best of 11.88.

Jasmine Cox, Mid-Distance, 5-6, Sophomore, Antioch, Calif., Deer Valley HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Cox is making her second straight appearance in the the NCAA West Region Championships ... will compete in the 800 meters as well as the Matadors' 4x400 relay ... comes in ranked 45th in the region in the 800 with a lifetime-best time of 2:09.58 ... ran her career-best at the Steve Scott Invitational on May 2 ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:41.52 and comes in ranked 23rd in the region ... ran her lifetime-best in the 400 meters (55.31) at the Cal-Nevada Championships in 2009.

Desirae Gonder, Sprints, 5-5, Junior, Bakersfield, Calif., Stockdale HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Gonder is making her third trip to the NCAA West Region Championships ... will be among six sprinters available in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays ... Northridge won the Big West title in both the 4x100 (44.88) and 4x400 (3:40.43) relays ... comes in ranked 17th in the 4x100 and 23rd in the 4x400 ... finished fourth at the 2008 NCAA West Region Championship in the high jump and was eighth as a freshman in 2007.

Jackie Harrison, Sprints, 5-6, Sophomore, Union City, Calif., James Logan HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Harrison is making her second consecutive trip to the NCAA West Region Championships ... will be among six Matador sprinters available for the 4x400 meter relay ... Northridge won the Big West title in the 4x400 relay in a time of 3:41.52 and comes in ranked 23rd in the region ... brings lifetime-best of 55.02 in the 400 meters which she set at the 2009 Big West Championships ... the Matador 4x400 relay finished fifth in a time of 3:38.83 at the 2009 West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Whitney Hooks, Throws, 5-10, Junior, Everett, Wash., Cascade HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Hooks qualifies for her third consecutive NCAA West Region Championship in the shot put ... finished seventh at the 2009 West Region Championship with a lifetime-best mark of 50-6 (15.39) and was 15th in 2008 with a throw of 46-3.50 (14.11) ... has a 2010 season-best of 48-2.75 (14.70) and ranks 41st in the region ... finished fourth in the shot at the Big West Championship after throwing 44-5.25 (13.54).

Lilyana Morejon, Distance, 5-3, Junior, North Hollywood, Calif., Burroughs HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Morejon is making her first trip to the NCAA West Region Championships in the 10,000 Meters ... ranks 22nd in region with a career-best time of 34:28.34 ... finished second in the 10,000 Meters at the Big West Championships in a time of 34:59.71 ... ran her lifetime-best time at the Cal-Nevada Championships (Mar. 28).

Stephanie Ralls, Throws, 5-9, Senior, Deer Island, Ore., St. Helens HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Ralls qualifies for the NCAA West Region Championships in the javelin for the fourth straight year ... finished 11th as a junior in 2009, was second as a sophomore in 2008 and was 14th as a freshman in 2007 ... ranks 19th in the region with a season-best of 161-0 (49.08) ... brings a career-best of 165-5 (50.43) into the championships ... finished third in the Big West Championships after throwing 139-10 (42.62).

Shelese Ruffin, Sprints/Jumps, 5-7, Senior, Banning, Calif., Beaumont HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Ruffin qualifies for the NCAA West Regional for the third straight season in the 400 meters and for the first time in the long jump ... is also in contention to be part of Northridge's 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams ... ran a lifetime-best and Northridge school record of 52.82 to win her third straight Big West 400 Meter Championship ... her time ranks seventh in the region ... comes in ranked 32nd in the long jump with a career-best of 20-1 (6.12) which also won the Big West championship ... Northridge won the Big West title in both the 4x100 (44.88) and 4x400 (3:40.43) relays ... comes in ranked 17th in the 4x100 and 23rd in the 4x400 ... finished seventh (54.73) in the 400 Meters at the 2009 West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore. and was sixth (54.89) in 2008 in Northridge.

Haylee Varner, Javelin, 5-9, Junior, Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS/Bakersfield CC

HOW SHE GOT HERE Varner is making her first trip to the NCAA West Region Championships in the javelin ... ranks 41st in region with a lifetime-best of 147-5 (44.94) ... threw her career-best at the Cal-Nevada Championships on Mar. 28 ... finished fourth at the 2010 Big West Championships with a best of 137-8 (41.96).

Precious Watkins, Sprints, 5-4, Sophomore, Moreno Valley, Calif., Rancho Verde HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Watkins is making her second consecutive trip to the NCAA West Region Championships ... qualifies in the 100 meters and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays ... ran a season-best 11.75 to win her first Big West 100 Meter Championship and ranks 34th in the West Region ... ran the opening leg of Northridge's Big West champion 4x100 relay that has the 17th-best time in the West Region at 45.43 ... finished eighth in 11.69 at the 2009 NCAA West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore. ... brings a lifetime-best of 11.64 into the Championships.

Tiana Webberley, Pole Vault, 5-4, Freshman, Palmdale, Calif., Highland HS

HOW SHE GOT HERE Webberley is making her first trip to the NCAA West Region Championships in the pole vault ... ranks 47th in region in the pole vault with a best of 12-8.75 (3.88) ... cleared a height of 12-4.75 (3.78) to win her first Big West Conference championship on May 15 ... was named Big West Women's Freshman of the Year.

Northridge's West Region Schedule: All times CDT

THURSDAY

12:00 p.m. - Men's Javelin Qualifying (Lance Gonzales)

1:00 p.m. - Women's Pole Vault Qualifying (Tiana Webberley)

1:00 p.m. - Women's Shot Put Qualifying (Whitney Hooks)

4:00 p.m. - Women's 400 Meter Hurdles First Round (LaShandra Batiste)

5:30 p.m. - Men's 100 Meters First Round (Bradley Ike, David Reid)

5:30 p.m. - Women's Javelin Qualifying (Stephanie Ralls, Haylee Varner)

5:30 p.m. - Men's Shot Put Qualifying (Alex Butler, Derek Cooper)

6:00 p.m. - Women's 100 Meters First Round (Precious Watkins)

7:00 p.m. - Men's Long Jump Qualifying (Reindell Cole)

7:00 p.m. - Women's 400 Meters First Round (Shelese Ruffin)

8:00 p.m. - Women's 800 Meters First Round (Jasmine Cox)

9:15 p.m. - Women's 10,000 Meters Semifinal (Lilyana Morejon)

FRIDAY

3:00 p.m. - Men's Hammer Qualifying (Alex Butler)

4:00 p.m. - Men's High Jump Qualifying (Lance Gonzales)

4:30 p.m. - Men's 110m Hurdles First Round (Michael Woodham)

5:45 p.m. - Women's 400 Meters Quarterfinal (Shelese Ruffin)

6:00 p.m. - Men's 100 Meters Quartefinal (Bradley Ike, David Reid)

6:15 p.m. - Women's 100 Meters Quarterfinal (Precious Watkins)

7:00 p.m. - Women's Long Jump Qualifying (Shelese Ruffin)

6:45 p.m. - Women's 800 Meters Quarterfinal (Jasmine Cox)

7:15 p.m. - Women's 400m Hurdles Quarterfinal (LaShandra Batiste)

7:30 p.m. - Men's 200 Meters First Round (Reindell Cole, David Reid)

SATURDAY

12:00 p.m. - Men's Discus Qualifying (Derek Cooper)

3:00 p.m. - Women's Hammer Qualifying (Morgan Bogard)

6:00 p.m. - Men's Triple Jump Qualifying (Awet Hagos)

6:00 p.m. - Men's 4x100 Relay Quarterfinal (Bradley Ike, Reindell Cole, Ben Santos, David Reid)

6:15 p.m. - Women's 4x100 Relay Quarterfinal (Precious Watkins, Sierra Brooks, Shelese Ruffin, Desirae Gonder or LaShandra Batiste)

7:05 p.m. - Men's 110m Hurdles Quarterfinal (Michael Woodham)

7:35 p.m. - Men's 200 Meters Quarterfinal (Reindell Cole, David Reid)

9:45 p.m. - Women's 4x400 Relay Quarterfinal (Precious Watkins, Jasmine Cox, Desirae Gonder, Shelese Ruffin or Jackie Harrison)

- GO MATADORS -