Matador Men and Women Both Lead Heading into Final Day of Big West Track & Field Championships

May 14, 2010

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge captured six event titles on Friday as both the Matador men and women carry team leads into Saturday's final day of competition at the Matador Track & Field Complex.

The Northridge women (79 points) carry a 14-point lead over UC Santa Barbara (65) into Saturday's competition. UC Davis is currently in third (39), Cal State Fullerton (31) is in fourth and Long Beach State (27) rounds out the top-five teams. Cal Poly (16), UC Riverside (14) and UC Irvine (2) completed the scoring on the women's side.

The Matador (67) men have a slim five-point cushion over Cal Poly (62) after seven events. UC Santa Barbara (56.5) is third followed by Long Beach State (42) and Cal State Fullerton (21.5) rounds out the top-five. UC Davis (13) is sixth, UC Riverside (11) is seventh and UC Irvine (0) rounded out the scoring on the men's side.

Northridge won the first two events of the day on Friday as Alex Butler won the men's hammer with a throw of 191-2 (58.28) and Morgan Bogard won the women's hammer with a toss of 189-6 (57.77). The Matador women earned a total of 13 points in the hammer as Whitney Hooks took sixth with a best of 159-11 (48.74). Northridge has now won the women's hammer three times in the last five years while Butler's win was the first since Brandon Goldstein took home the title in 2002.

The women's long jump finished up next with Shelese Ruffin defending her 2009 title giving CSUN its third consecutive win with a lifetime-best jump of 20-01 (6.12). Desirae Gonder also jumped a career-best 19-5.25 (5.92) to claim third giving the Matadors 16 points in the long jump.

In the men's high jump, Northridge senior Lance Gonzales took the top spot with a new personal best of 6-10.25 (2.09) while Reindell Cole also earned points by tying for seventh place with a best of 6-6.25 (1.99). The Northridge men earned a total of 11 points in the men's high jump event with Gonzales giving the Matadors their first Big West high jump champion since Alex Marbley in 2005.

In the preliminaries of the 100 meter hurdles, LaShandra Batiste finished fourth in a personal-best 13.99 and Desirae Gonder finished fifth in a personal-best 14.07 to advance to Saturday's final. Ese Ntekume also finished with a new personal-best time of 14.93.

Gonzalez and Robert Mestas picked up 12 more points for the Matadors in the men's javelin. Gonzalez finished in second place with a best of 194-3 (59.22) and Mestas placed fifth after a best of 178-11 (54.54).

In the preliminaries of the 110 hurdles, Robert Robinson finished in a season-best time of 14.22 to finish third and advance to Saturday's final. Michael Woodham ran a lifetime-best 14.40 to take fifth and Gonzales was ninth in 14.79 to give Northridge three entires in the final.

The women's 400 meter preliminaries saw Ruffin and Jackie Harrison advance to Saturday's final after finishing second and third, respectively. Ruffin finished in a season-best time of 54.17 while Harrison clocked in at 55.45, also a season-best. Crystal Spears also qualified for the final on Saturday after finishing eighth in 56.99.

CSUN picked up another 16 points in the women's pole vault final. Freshman Tiana Webberley took first place after a best of 12-4.75 (3.78) and Megan Hill finished in a tie for second with a best of 11-10.75 (3.63). Cristi Allen did not score for the Matadors but cleared a lifetime-best 11-5 (3.48). Webberley's pole vault championship was Northridge's second since 1997. Krystal Quinn won the Matadors' first ever pole vault championship in 2008.

The Northridge women put two contenders in Saturday's 100 meter final as Precious Watkins and Sierra Brooks took first and second, respectively, in Friday's preliminaries. Each finished the race with a new season-best time, with Watkins finishing in 11.75 and Brooks finishing in 11.88.

As for the Northridge men, four Matadors qualified for Saturday's final in the 100 meters. Bradley Ike paced the Matadors by finishing first in a new personal-best 10.42, Cole was second in a personal-best 10.61, David Reid finished fourth in a personal-best 10.58 and Ben Santos finished seventh in 10.74.

The women produced three qualifiers for Saturday's 400 meter hurdles final. Batiste placed second after finishing in 61.23 and Vanice Colbert finished right behind her in 61.63, good for a new season best. Brenna Hoffman also qualified after running a lifetime-best 63.41 which was good for eighth in the prelims.

In the finals of the javelin throw, Stephanie Ralls placed third with a best of 139-10 (42.62) and Haylee Varner placed fourth with a best of 137-8 (41.96), earning 11 points for the Matadors.

CSUN continued its domination of the men's long jump, picking up 18 points in the event. Cole took home the top prize for the second time in the last three years with a best of 24-8.5 (7.53). Robinson placed third with a season-best jump of 24-6.25 (7.47) and Gonzales tied a personal best and finished seventh after a best of 23-1.75 (7.05). The Matador men have now won the Big West long jump competition six times in the last seven years.

The CSUN men produced four qualifiers for the 200 meter final on Saturday. Ike and Reid finished first and second, respectively, in the race, with Ike finishing in a personal-best 21.30 while Reid finishing in 21.42. Cole finished sixth in 21.83 while Nic Taylor finished seventh in 21.91 to round out the Matador qualifiers.

On the women's side of the 200 meters, Northridge again produced four qualifiers for Saturday. Ruffin finished third in 24.19, Watkins finished fourth in a season-best 24.37, Gonder finished fifth in 24.51 and Brooks finished eighth in 24.61.

Lilyanna Morejon placed second in the women's 10,000 meters after finishing the race in 34:59.71, eclipsing the previous meet-record time of 34:59.76. Despite breaking the meet record, Morejon's time was still well off her personal best of 34:28.34. UCSB's Danielle Domenichelli won the women's competition in 34:50.29, breaking an eight-year old meet record.

Saturday's final day of competition begins at noon with the women's triple jump, the first of eight finals in the field events. The first event on the track Saturday is the women's 4x100 relay at 3 p.m., as 20 event finals will take place on the track. The final event is the men's 4x400 relay at 5:55 p.m.