Spring break was a launching point for many track and field athletes as numerous Anteaters won and placed in a number of events at the Northridge Spring Break Open last week. However, one athlete performed leaps and bounds over the competition. Junior Lauren Collins scored a school-record 5,549 points in the Heptathalon at the Northridge competition. This broke her last school record of 5,512 set in 2007. Her performance automatically qualifies her for the NCAA Championships as well as the USA track and field Championships. But more impressively, Collins’ score ranks seventh in the world this year as of last Monday. The accomplishment has resulted in her being named the Big West Women’s Field Athlete of the Week.
However, Collins was not the only Anteater to receive such accolades over the break. Freshman Charles Jock received Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honors after he won the 800-meter race with a time of 1:49.18 at Anteater Stadium during the Spring Break Invitational last Saturday. This time puts Jock into the upper echelons Irvine runners. This mark is the best time in the last 21 years of Anteater running. The performance also qualifies Jock for the NCAA West Regional.
Jock is one of the leading runners at Irvine right now, but several other athletes are right behind him. At the Spring Break Invitational, Lee Darling won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 21.89 and Napoleon Greene followed him by winning the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.89.
On the women’s side of the sprint events, Golde Ibia finished first in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.11. This was the third best time in UC Irvine history.
Swimming and Diving
Randall Tom is the only swimmer that had qualifying times fast enough to make the NCAA Championships. This is the second time in Tom’s career that he has represented UC Irvine at the national championships. He has earned Irvine nine points at the meet by finishing ninth in the 100 fly with a time of 45.64. His performance has placed UCI in a tie for 29th place.
Spring break was a busy one for the men’s golf team. They competed at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe. The squad started slow in the medal round with a 15th place finish, but made up for it on the second day of match play as they went up against University of San Diego and Chattnooga University on Monday.
Unfortunately, Irvine was unable to overcome its slow start and lost its two match play rounds in the first round of the consolation bracket. John Chin and Sean Shahi were the only Anteaters who recieved wins on that day, with Shahi putting together two wins on the day.
But Tuesday’s round was where the Anteaters really shined. Irvine faced Charlotte in the second day of match play and came out on top. Four Irvine golfers defeated their opponents with one coming up with a tie. Chin, Shahi, Micheal Im and Shaun O’Meara all beat their Charlotte opponents while Robert Francioni was able to tie in his match. The win on Tuesday placed Irvine in the lower half of the tournament as they finished 15th overall.
The Lady Anteaters also had a busy spring break as they played three different matches, but found themselves unsuccessful with two losses at home to start the week. Denver came to Irvine and knocked out the Anteaters last Sunday. Due to weather, only the singles matches were played and to the detriment of the Anteaters, Denver put together a good run with its singles players. Denver beat the Anteaters 4-2 with freshman Courtney Byron and senior Claire Fermin being the only two players to win their matches.
Tuesdays match against University of San Francisco was yet another tough match-up for the Anteaters. They lost the overall match 5-2 as the Dons’ were too much to handle for the Anteaters. Miranda Young, Byron, Heidi Kaloi and Rebecca Kwan all contributed to the effort with wins in their matches.
The last test of the Spring Break action was the most important as UC Irvine beat Cal State Northridge 4-3 in the conference play last Friday afternoon. Young and Byron put together another big win in the doubles match as four singles players pick up the slack on that end. Byron, Fermin, Kwan and Ali Borowicz all contributed the win with victories in their respective match.
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