NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Both Cal State Northridge track & field teams had a solid opening day of the 2013 Big West Conference Track & Field Championships Friday at the Matador Track Complex.
After seven finals were contested Friday, mostly field events, the CSUN men are in fourth place with 25 points while the Matador women are fifth with 32 tallies.
"I thought we had a great day today, there were a ton of positives," said Matador head coach Avery Anderson. "I was proud of the way every member of the team competed and stepped up. We competed with pride to represent our program."
Amongst a slew of personal-bests for both CSUN squads on Friday, Nicholas DiMartino reached the podium in the men's long jump after finishing second with a season-best 25-4.75 (7.74). DiMartino capped a busy afternoon by qualifying for Saturday's finals in both the 100 and 200 meters.
In the other field event finals on Friday, the men's team got a scoring performance from Gavin Fallen in the discus (4th, 165-3) which added five points to the team tally.
The Matador women opened the day with a solid showing in the hammer throw as Monique Griffiths (169-9) was fourth, Julienne Lewis-Sidqe (164-3) was sixth and Mariah Counts (160-4) eighth to earn nine points. Both Griffiths and Lewis-Sidqe posted season-bests. In the other throwing event final on Friday, CSUN added five points as Jakayla Daniels posted a PR of 46-5.50 and Sydney Hubbard also PR'd at 46-4.75.
Ashley Henry added a fourth-place finish in the high jump after clearing a season-best 5-7 (1.70) on her second attempt. Shawnta Barnes and Marissa Rossi then contributed eight points in the long jump as Barnes finished fourth with a season-best 19-5.50 (5.93) and Rossi was sixth after matching her season-best of 19-0 (5.79).
In track prelims, the Matador men and women advanced a good number to Saturday event finals. Le'Shel Vines clocked a season-best 11.64 to lead a quartet of Matador women into the 100 meter final. Hafsatu Kamara ran a season-best of 11.71 while Chiza Eze (11.86) and Marie Veale (11.88) will also battle to see if CSUN can reclaim the Big West 100 meter crown.
Kamara (23.83), Vines (23.91) and Lexis Lambert (23.94) all advanced in the 200 meters while Lambert will be the lone CSUN sprinter in the 400 meter final after running a season-best 54.90. Stephanie Hicks ran 14.10 in the 100 meter hurdles which was fifth but advanced to Saturday's final.
Junior Carl Horsley was a force in both sprints for the Matador men as he ran the fastest time in both the 100 and 200 as he will bid to repeat his 2011 wins in both events. Horsley clocked a season-best 10.46 in the 100 as teammates DiMartino (10.59) and Darquis Rucker (10.67) also advanced.
Horsley then ran a blistering 21.02 to easily post the fastest time in the 200 prelims. DiMartino also ran a season-best of 21.28 to finish fourth in qualifying. In the 400 meters, Khalid Jones grabbed the eighth of nine qualifying spots after running 48.23. Toban advanced in the 110 hurdles as did both Joshua Hemphill and Kevin Finley while Ezekial Glass clocked a time of 1:54.30 to advance to Saturday's final in the 800 meters.
Saturday's final day of competition kicks off with the men's hammer at 9 a.m., with the majority of events on the track slated to begin at 2 p.m.
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