Strong Start for Matadors on Day One of Big West Heptathlon

May 6, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women got off to a solid start on day one of the heptathlon competition at the Big West Championships Friday at UC Irvine.

Senior Sherrina Lofton is currently in the lead with 3,259 points after four events. Fellow senior Desirae Gonder is fourth with 3,122 and junior Alisa Jenkins is fifth with 2,980. The Matadors are also competing freshmen Olympia Jewett and Jordan DuFault in the heptathlon with Jewett currently 11th (2,794) and DuFault is 12th (2,466).

Lofton currently holds a 101-point lead over UC Santa Barbara's Maureen Ajoku and is 136 points ahead of Phylicia Johnson of Long Beach State. Lofton is seeking her second conference heptathlon title and first since 2009.

"We had a solid start today," said associate head coach Avery Anderson. "But it's going to be a dogfight to the very end to crown the best female athlete in the Big West."

The senior from Fairfield, Calif., opened the first day of the competition with a second-place finish in the 100 meter hurdles. Lofton ran a lifetime-best 14.06 to earn 970 points. Gonder was third in a season-best 14.27 which was good for 941 points. Jenkins was fifth in 14.38 to pick up 925 points while Jewett was ninth (15.05) and DuFault was 12th (16.74).

The high jump was next and Gonder won her best event as she tied for first with a top height of 5-5.25 (1.66). Gonder earned 806 points for the win while Lofton was third with a top leap of 5-4.25 (1.63) to pick up 771 points. Jewett also tied for third setting a season-best in the process while DuFault and Jenkins tied for eighth at 5-0.50 (1.54) to each add 666 points.

The Matadors also fared well in final two events on Friday, the shot put and 200 meters. Lofton was the top CSUN thrower in the shot finishing fourth with a best of 34-5 (10.49) which was good for 562 points. Jenkins was right behind in fifth-place at 34-3.5 (10.45) to pick up 559 points while Jewett was sixth (33-4.75), Gonder was ninth (31-0) and DuFault was 10th (30-1).

Day one closed with the 200 meters and the Matadors went 1-2 behind Lofton and Gonder. Lofton dominated the field in a time of 24.26 to earn an additional 956 points while Gonder finished in 25.06 to pick up 881 points. Jenkins was sixth in 25.63 to earn 830 points, DuFault was 11th in 27.16 and Jewett was 12th in 27.80.

The second and final day of the heptathlon gets underway Saturday at 1 p.m. The Long Jump, Javelin and 800 meters will determine the Big West champion.