On May 13 and 14 UC Irvine hosted the 2005 Track and Field Big West Conference Championship finals.
There are currently eight schools in the Big West Conference.
The Cal State University, Northridge Men’s Track and Field team captured its second consecutive Big West title with 142.5 points, trailed by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with 135, and UC Santa Barbara with 112.5 points.
As for the women, UCSB made history as they successfully won their first Big West title with 179 points.
The CSUN Matadors finished second with 156 and Cal State University, Long Beach finished third with 138 points.
The UCI women’s team finished in ninth place overall at conference while the men’s team placed seventh at the end of the meet.
Cal Poly’s men’s team finished Friday evening leading the Men’s Conference with 60 points. This success can be attributed in part to the success of Cal Poly’s Ben Bruce, who won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of 8:42.11, breaking the record of 8:44.49 by Idaho’s Frank Bruder in 1997. Bruce was also named this year’s track Athlete of the Year.
Friday’s competition placed UCSB’s men in second place with 50 points and Utah State in third with 39.
Saturday morning started with field events at 10 a.m.
In the men’s hammer throw UCI senior thrower Mike Beerer walked away with both the Conference title and his fifth personal best of the season at 204’11 feet.
Beerer was one of the few Anteaters who persevered over conference action.
At around 3 p.m. the track events began with the men’s and women’s 4 x 100-meter relay.
In the women’s race, tensions between CSUN and CSULB became more evident. The longtime rivalry was in place around the corners of the track. Anchor Petrice White of Long Beach State held her own pace as she sprinted down the backstretch straightaway and into victory. CSULB finished with a time of 45.50, an improvement from their preliminary time of 45.66.
‘My team did their job; when I saw them come around the track I knew it was up to me,’ White said.
The men of Utah State left a lasting performance in the 4 x 100, as they won the event in 40.58, also improving their prelim time of 40.61.
The 1500-meter fielded about 14 competitors on the men’s and women’s sides. The projected seed winner Ryan Moorecroft of Cal Poly won the title in the 1500 for his second year in a row with a time of 3:45.48.
‘Today we had perfect race conditions for a 1500,’ Moorecroft said. ‘I was good and confident starting the race, and I’m thankful to God that it turned out the way it did.’
UCI junior distance runner Ricky Barnes finished third overall in the 1500-meter with a time of 3:47.15.
The 100-meter and 110-meter hurdles competition brought the crowd to its feet. Willimena Cisco of Cal Poly and Anthony Brown of CSUN walked away with hurdle titles that afternoon.
In the men’s high jump UCI freshman jumper Julian Eison walked away with a third-place finish at a height of 6-10 3/4.
‘It feels great to know that I can jump with the best,’ Eison said. ‘It gives me confidence going into regionals. I came out here to do something, and whoever wasn’t ready to ride got left behind.’
UCI sophomore Danye Comrie also placed second at the meet in the men’s 400-meter race.
The race gave Comrie the opportunity to cut loose around the corners of the track and made his way from start to finish in a time of 48.43.
‘I don’t feel that I got out hard enough. I think I closed well to make up what I lost,’ Comrie said.
CSULB’s Charles Lewis won the event at 47.63. The 100-meter dash started soon thereafter. CSUN’s Shauna Hackett put on a star performance and won the event at 11.74, a 1/10 second advantage over teammate and previous titleholder Deanna Goodwin.
Hackett said, ‘ It feels so good, I worked so much harder this year, and it’s good having a teammate to run after.
As the track events started to simmer down, the women’s triple jump competition also came to an end with Cal Poly’s Courtney Stafford taking her second consecutive title with a jump of 13.05 meters, only one foot shy of the meet and conference record.
Junior distance runner Tom Whelan clocked in a time of 1:52.24 in the men’s 800-meter for a third-place finish. The day came to an end as fans and athletes gathered around the track for the men’s 4×400 meter relay. The final event was filled with excitement as teams chanted for their schools.
Although not everyone walked away with titles, their effort and performances definitely made a lasting impression on friends and foes alike.
UCI’s 4×400 meter relay team of Storm Huie, Scott Jarvis, Michael McEachron and Comrie placed second overall in the men’s competition with a time of 3:12.50.
UCI ended the day by sending seven of its athletes who had qualifying marks and times to the NCAA West Regionals.