NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge track & field wrapped up the 2013 Big West Championships with a third-place finish on the women's side and a fourth-place finish on the men's side Saturday at the Matador Track Complex.
Both CSUN teams made up a lot of ground on the final day of competition as the women scored 95 points for a championship total of 127 while the men tallied 90.5 to give them a total of 115.5. Those totals were enough to move the women into third and the men fourth in the team chase.
The UC Davis women (172.5) and the Long Beach State men (176.5) proved too much to catch however as two teams other than either of the host Matadors won a championship meet at CSUN for the first time since 2003.
The day began with a series of field events as THE MATADOR WOMEN started off strong by taking second and third in both the javelin and triple jump. In the javelin, Mariah Counts tossed a best of 138-10 (42.32) to finish as the runner-up while Marissa Rossi was third in a personal-best 135-10 (41.41). Rossi competed simultaneously in the triple jump where she also placed third just behind teammate Cydney Leath who grabbed second. Both had PR's in the event as Leath jumped 40-6.75 (12.36) while Rossi finished at 40-4.75 (12.31).
The action then began on the track where the Matadors won the 4x100 relay for the sixth time in the last eight years but the first time since 2010. The team of Le'Shel Vines, Hafsatu Kamara, Lexis Lambert and Marie Veale easily won in 44.43 which is a meet and conference record as well as the second fastest time in CSUN history.
Stephanie Hicks opened the individual sprints with fourth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles finishing in a season-best 13.95. The CSUN women continued add points putting pressure on the Aggies for much of the day. In the 100 meters, Vines was second, Kamara was fourth and Chiza Ese was eighth. Vines ran a personal-best 11.56 to grab second, Kamara also clocked a PR of 11.61 while Eze shaved .04 off her season-best with a time of 12.02.
In the 200 meters, Kamara took fourth with a PR of 23.84 while Lambert was sixth with a season-best 24.05 and Vines was seventh in 24.28.
Towards the end of the day, the attention turned to the pole vault runway where the Matadors' Tiana Webberly and UC Davis' Emily Bush staged a battle for the Big West crown. After the two vaulters each cleared 12-11.50 (3.95), Bush then converted at 13-3.50 (4.05) on her first attempt. Webberley then missed on her first two attempts before a big clearance on her final attempt pulled her even and set a new CSUN women's record. The bar then moved to 13-7.50 (4.15) and after Bush missed on three attempts, Webberly came within inches of a huge PR but nicked the bar on her final attempt to finish second in the competition.
In the final field event of the day for the women, the Matadors added to their total as Monique Griffiths finished third with a mark of 160-4 (48.88) while Counts was sixth with a PR of 156-5 (47.69).
In the final track event of the championships, the CSUN women completed their scoring after clocking a time of 3:43.26 to finish fifth.
THE MATADOR MEN also began the day in good shape as Tucker Weathers took third in the hammer throw with a best mark of 183-1 (55.81) while Jose Aviles was just out of the scoring after tossing a season-best of 167-1 (50.93). Moving to the track for the triple jump, the Matador men received scoring performances from both Donovan Toban and Derion Taylor. Toban claimed fourth with a CSUN season-best of 49-7.75 (15.13) while Taylor was sixth with a top jump of 48-2 (14.68).
The men then set their sights on the running events as a FOX Sports Prime Ticket audience watched as CSUN extended its dominance in the 4x100 relay to five consecutive championships and seven titles in the last eight years. The team of Derrick Harris, Carl Horsley, Darquis Rucker and Nicholas DiMartino clocked the second-fastest time in school history with a blistering 40.00 which was over a second faster than second-place Long Beach State.
In a very competitive 1,500 meter race, the Matadors' Hunter Hays ran the fastest time of his career (3:50.87) and was sitting third heading into the homestretch before winding up fifth. In the 110 hurdles, Joshua Hemphill turned in a season-best 14.40 to finish fifth while Kevin Finley was seventh in 14.95. Toban, one of the favorites coming in, pulled up midway through the race.
Khalid Jones carried the CSUN hopes in the 400 meters and ran a solid 47.69, a career-best which was good for fourth place.
After running a blistering second leg in the 4x100 relay, Horsley then took the spotlight in the 100 meters and blew away the field with a time of 10.46 which matched the season-best he ran in Friday's prelims. DiMartino also ran well finishing third in 10.85 while Rucker was sixth in 10.95. Horsley was not done however coming back in the 200 meters and he again won easily this time in a lifetime-best 20.89. By winning the 200, Horsley matched his 100 and 200 meter crowns from 2011 when he was the Big West Freshman of the Year. DiMartino was also third in the 200 clocking a season-best 21.43.
The solid times continued for the men in the 800 meters as Ezekial Glass finished in a lifetime-best 1:52.47 to claim fourth place.
In the final two field events for the men, Taylor came back after his sixth-place finish in the triple jump to finish sixth in the high jump with a top height of 6-3.50 (1.92). In the shot put, Weathers finished sixth with a top effort of 52-2.75 (15.92) while Aviles was eighth at 49-8.50 (15.15).
The men's portion of the meet was capped by the 4x400 relay where the team of Isaiah Cantu, Jones, Kenneth Stone and Horsley finished fourth in a season-best of 3:13.32.
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