Westmont’s new track attracts GSAC Championships

Athletes from nine teams will converge on the new Westmont track to compete in the Golden State Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships. The two-day event will feature some of the top track and field athletes in the NAIA.

The event begins on Friday, April 23 at ten o’clock with heptathlon and decathlon events. Field events start at 11:30 a.m. with running events beginning with prelims at one o’clock. The first running finals will be held at 4:30 on Friday afternoon.

Westmont upgraded many of its athletic facilities in the past year. The track got a complete facelift.

Decathlon and Heptathlon events resume on Saturday morning at 10:30, as do field events. The 4 X 100 meter relay finals will kick off Saturday’s running events (all finals) at one o’clock.

There is no charge to attend the event. Fans can enjoy the event from the stands which are built into the hillside and include grassy areas at each level. A new digital display will help to keep fans and competitors aware of individual performances and team results.

Participants in the track and field meet, which will be the largest meet held at Westmont College in 25 years, are expected to challenge a number of GSAC and stadium records.

In the men’s competition, Abednego of Magut of Azusa Pacific has posted the top times this season in the 1500 meters (3:52.62), the 5,000 meters (14:31.69) and the 10,000 meters (29:43.99). Westmont’s Jacob Goodin is just 0.4 seconds off of Magut’s time in the 1,500 meters at 3:53.02.

In the sprints, look for Sean Lewis of Point Loma Nazarene and Zachary Keene of Azusa Pacific. Keene has the top time in the 100 meter dash at 10.89. Westmont’s Jimmy McCann should also be a factor in the race.

In the 800 meters, Point Loma Nazarene’s Corey Botma has a top time of 1:52.01 followed by Chase Williams (1:54.96) of California Baptist and Eric Williams (1:55.33) of Westmont.

Vanguard’s Aze Perkins leads the 110 meter hurdlers with a time of 14.67. Lewis of Point Loma Nazarene has the best time in the 400 meter hurdles at 52.65. Lewis’ teammate Casey Kear leads the way in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:18.98.

Four competitors stand out in the high jump with Wes Wells of Fresno Pacific leading the way with a mark of 2.10 meters (6-10.75). The next three competitors have posted identical marks of 2.06 meters (6-9) – Brett McGregor and Austin Timm of Point Loma Nazarene and Jerry Sommerville of Azusa Pacific. In the pole vault, Jordan Savidge has cleared 5.20 meters (17-0.75″) to outpace all competitors.

Eugene Vollmer of Fresno Pacific will be the man to beat in both the long jump and the triple jump. In the long jump, Vollmer’s top performance is 7.13 meters (23-4.75) and in the triple jump he has notched a mark of 15.49 meters (50-10).

In the Javelin, Westmont leads the way with the top two marks. Brent Lagace owns both the stadium and school records with a mark of 63.00 meters (206-8), while Andrew Kolodinski has posted a throw of 60.82 meters (199-06). Both men’s marks were set at the Westmont Track during the Celebration Meet of March 27.

Concordia’s Nick Robertson has set the standard in the shot put and the discus with a mark of 17.52 meters (57-5.75) in the former and 51.84 meters (170-1) in the latter. Aaron Winters of Fresno Pacific has posted the best mark in the hammer at 53.57 (175-9.25).

Casey Stevick of Azusa Pacific has posted the highest total in the decathlon with 6,912 points.

The women’s events are every bit as competitive.

Sarah Laine of Point Loma Nazarene will be looking to sweep the sprints, having posted the top times in the 100 meters (12.22), 200 meters (24.65) and 400 meters (55.05). However, she will be challenged by Mandy Ross (12.27) of Azusa Pacific in the 100 and Natasha Miller of Biola (24.76) among others.

Poppy Lawman of Azusa Pacific is the favorite in the 800 meters (2:11.41) while Kelsey Gasner (4:35.26) of Biola claims the top seed in the 1500 meters.

Azusa Pacific claims all three of the fastest seed times in the 5,000 meters and all three times beat the current GSAC record. Lauren Jimison leads the group with a time of 16:47.33, followed closely by Renee Graham with 16:49.86. Jacky Kipwambok, who holds the third fastest time in the 5,000 meters, is the leader in the 10,000 meters (34:26.78). She will be challenged by Vanguard’s Rebecca Sopp.

Miller of Biola sits atop the 100 meter hurdles list with a time of 14.24. Azusa Pacific’s Tiffeny Parker (14.59) and Westmont’s Sandra Blockman (14.6 hand time) are expected to challenge Miller in the event. In the 400 meters, only 0.52 seconds separates the top three finishers. Fresno Pacific’s Jessica Alanis has a season’s best time of 62.22 followed by teammate Jessica Suddaby (62.45) and Point Loma Nazarene’s Victoria Anderson (62.74). Nychele Fishetti of Biola is the favorite in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, having recorded a time of 11:06.87.

Miller, who has also posted the best mark in the high jump at 1.75 meters (5-9), should be challenged by Tanya Brammer of Concordia (1.68 meters, 5-6.25) and Andersen of Point Loma Nazarene (1.67, 5-5.75). In the pole vault, Point Loma Nazarene’s Rebecca Duckworth leads the way with a mark of 3.65 meters (11-11.75).

A mere 0.06 meters separates the top three women’s long jumpers. Azusa Pacific’s Parker (5.59 meters, 18-4) leads Westmont’s Kasey Kearin by just 0.01 meters. Brammer of Concordia has posted a mark of 5.53 meters (18-1.75). Fresno Pacific’s Milika Tuivanuavou has the best triple jump with a mark of 11.85 meters.

Tuivanuavou is also on top of the shot put list with a mark of 13.46 meters (44-2), nearly two meters better than her closest competitor. In the discus, Fresno Pacific’s Lauren Orris has a conference best mark of 41.15 meters (135-0), followed by Jordan Robusto of Azusa Pacific at 40.52 meters (132-11).

Erin Dwyer leads the hammer throws with a mark of 50.21 meters (164-8). She is followed by Robusto (48.46 meters, 159-0) and Westmont’s Alison Sharp (43.37 meters, 142-3). The top mark in the javelin belongs to Tiffany Marinos of Fresno Pacific at 41.80 meters (137-1).

Biola’s Miller is the top heptathlon point-getter with 5,162. Parker and Breanna Leslie of Azusa Pacific finished second and third with 4,996 points and 4781 points respectively.