NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Cal State Northridge earned five points in the heptathlon and three in the decathlon Saturday on the opening weekend of the 2013 Big West Championships at the Matador Track & Field Complex.
CSUN had itself positioned for potentially more points after a solid showing on day one Friday but settled for eight points as Stephanie Hicks took fifth (4 pts) and Jealinda Mills finished eighth (1 pt) in the heptathlon while Derrick Harris was seventh (2 pts) and Kevin Finley eighth (1 pt) in the decathlon.
"Our multi's fought hard to garner points for our team in these championships," said Matador head coach Avery Anderson. "All the girls PR'd in the heptathlon, that's how you step up for your team. All of our guys knew they were in a battle to score and all performed with PR's both days in several events. It's what we're about and the multi's certainly came through for the team this weekend."
Hicks and Harris were each in fourth-place in their respective events after setting several personal-bests on Friday. Hicks, who wound up shattering her season-best with 4,773 points, opened Saturday in good shape, posting a season-best in the long jump at 18-5.25 (5.62). She then had a best in the javelin of 91-0 (27.73) before capping the day with an 800 meter time of 2:37.33.
Harris, who scored a career-best 6,472 points, nearly matched his Friday total with three more season-bests on Saturday. He opened the day with a season-best of 16.32 in the 110 hurdles before his top mark of 76-4 (23.27) in the discus was well below his best of the season, 117-10 (35.92). Harris rebounded with an impressive performance in the pole vault as he cleared a season-best 15-1 (4.60) to tie for the top height in the competition. He was still sixth after posting a season-best mark of 136-0 (41-46) in the javelin but after running 5:09.96 in the 1,500 meters, Harris slipped to seventh place.
CSUN also received points from Mills in the heptathlon after the junior ran a season-best of 2:26.13 in the 800 meters, the final event of the heptathlon. Prior to that, she had a top long jump of 17-1.25 (5.21) and a best of 76-9 (23.39) in the javelin. Freshman Niah Simmons wound up finishing 13th in her first Big West heptathlon with a career-best total of 3,969 points.
Finley also notched a point for the Matador men with his eighth place showing while freshman Taylor Cudequest finished just out of the scoring in ninth place but scored a career-best total of 6,183 points. Finley posted season-bests in the first four events on Saturday as he ran 14.88 to take third in the 110 hurdles, threw 97-0 (29.57) in the discus, cleared 13-9.25 (4.20) in the pole vault and had a big improvement in the javelin after tossing a best of 140-11 (42.95).
Cudequest also had a solid final day as he matched or set season-bests in four events. The freshman finished with a 110 hurdle time of 16.49 before posting a discus best of 112-11 (34.43), matching his season-best of 11-9.75 (3.60) in the pole vault and also posting a big PR of 144-1 (43.92) in the javelin. Cudequest capped his first conference championship with a seventh-place finish in the 1,500 meters (4:45.04).
The Big West Track & Field Championships continue next weekend (May 10-11) with two full days of competition. Friday's competition gets underway with the women's hammer throw at 9 a.m.
- GOMATADORS.COM -