Matadors Head to Irvine For Big West Outdoor Championships This Weekend

May 13, 2009

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MATADOR WOMEN LOOK FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT BIG WEST TITLE; MEN SEEK THIRD IN LAST FIVE YEARS The Cal State Northridge men's and women's track and field teams head to the Big West Outdoor Championships this weekend where the Matador women seek their fourth consecutive conference crown. The Northridge men are looking to recapture the Big West title after finishing second in 2008. Things got off to a solid start for both teams last weekend as junior Sherrina Lofton won the heptathlon and teammates Shelese Ruffin and Stella Dugall each scored as the women earned 21 points heading into the main portion of the meet. The men, led by Robert Robinson's third-place finish, picked up 17 points in the decathlon.

MEET RESULTS Live meet results following each event of the Big West Championships will be posted with complete results available at the end of each day.

Big West Live Results

MATADOR WOMEN'S PREVIEW The Northridge women will be led by 2008 Big West Track Athlete of the Year Sherrina Lofton. Lofton ranks first in both the 100 (11.57) and 200 meters (23.67) and is second in the 400 meters (54.12) heading into this weekend's championships. Ruffin, the 2008 conference 400 meter champion, ranks third in the 400 (54.30) and second in the 400 hurdles (60.13). Sophomore Tara Prier could also be a factor for the women as she has the third-best time in the 200 (23.99) and fourth-best time in the 400 (55.04). Dominique Calvin, who is making her fourth straight trip to the Big West Championships, is ranked fifth in the 100 meters, fourth in the 200 and seventh in the long jump. The Matadors come in ranked first in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. In the field events, the traditionally strong jump squad is led by senior Candyce Babb who is a two-time Big West long jump champion (2006, 2007). Stella Dugall also ranks fourth in the triple jump. In the throws, junior Stephanie Ralls is the defending Big West javelin champion and comes in ranked first with a throw of 159-3.25. Teammate Haylee Varner ranks third in the javelin at 135-9.75. Sophomore Whitney Hooks ranks fifth in the shot put while junior Claire Morgan comes in ranked seventh in the discus.

MATADOR MEN'S PREVIEW Sophomore Reindell Cole and senior Rolando Felizola lead the Matador jumpers into the Big West Championships. Cole, the 2008 NCAA Indoor Long Jump champion, has the top mark in the conference in the long jump (25-9.50) while Felizola owns the best mark in the triple jump (50-11). Cole is the defending Big West long jump champion while Felizola was second in both the long jump and triple jump at the 2007 conference championships. Sophomore Thomas Johnson is ranked fifth in the high jump while fellow junior Matt Todd ranks seventh in the pole vault heading into the championships. On the track, junior De'Shawn Waters comes into the meet as the top-ranked sprinter in both the 100 (10.42) and 200 meters (21.20). Junior Ben Santos also comes in with a solid time of 10.65 in the 100 meters. Also on the track, the Matadors' 4x100 relay team holds the fastest time in the conference at 40.49. In addition to the jump team, the Matadors will look to their throwers in the field events. Junior Derek Cooper, the defending Big West discus champion, comes in with the best discus mark and is second in the shot put. Senior Cody Pearce, the 2008 Big West hammer runner-up, boasts the third-best mark in the conference in the hammer at 192-11.25.

NORTHRIDGE IN THE BIG WEST Since joining the Big West Conference in 2002, the Matadors have enjoyed a great deal of success. The Northridge women have claimed five Big West crowns (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008) and have finished second twice (2003, 2005). The Matador men won Big West championships in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and finished second in 2003, 2006 and 2008.

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