The UC Irvine Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams finished in sixth and eighth place in the Big West Championships at Anteater Stadium on Saturday. Cal State Northridge took both the men’s and women’s championship titles.
In the four-day competition, Jon Stewart was the first to place for the UC Irvine men as he finished second in the decathlon. He had a career-high of 6,658 points.
In field events, senior J.J. Stein placed fourth in the Javelin throw with a mark of 186’1′. Sophomore Brian Moon placed seventh in the shot put, 54’1′. Senior Derek Kingrey followed him in eighth place with a mark of 52’4.5′.
Over in the men’s hammer throw, sophomore Mike Beerer was the only Anteater who competed in the event. He finished in sixth with a throw of 183’02’.
The men’s 4×100-meter relay was the first track event to go off on Saturday. UCI took third place with a time of 41.27. In the last race of the day for the men, the 4×400-meter relay, UCI came in at a strong second. UC Santa Barbara was neck-and-neck with UC Irvine in the exchange between the third and last leg, but Irvine passed them on the curve. UCSB was in third when the last legman dropped the baton. This cost UCSB a top-three finish as they ended the race in eighth.
The men’s 400-meter hurdles had a 2-3 UC Irvine finish with freshman Dayne Comrie coming in with a time of 52.29. Junior Scott Jarvis came right behind him with a 52.65 finish.
In the 1,500-meter run, sophomore Tom Whelan maintained a strong pace throughout the race to finish in 3:49.76. Two guys began to pull ahead of Whelan in the last straight away but he managed to pick one off and finish third.
‘I feel pretty good with the results. I think I went out at a good pace,’ Whelan said.
Finally, in the men’s 400-meter dash, juniors Omar Lopez and Michael McEachron came in fifth and sixth. Lopez ran in at 48.58 while McEachron tied for sixth with UC Riverside freshman Guillaume Mok, 48.58.
The women’s team ran into trouble from the very first day of competition. Senior Annmarie Turpin injured her right hamstring while competing in the 200-meter run for the hepathalon. Turpin was the defending champion and came into the event ranked 10th nationally. Due to the injury, she was unable to compete for the rest of the championships.
In field events, junior Erin Curtis won the women’s pole vault with a mark of 12’3.50′. Freshman Kirsten Loftin tied for fifth with Cal State Fullerton’s Jennifer Clarke at a mark of 11’9.75′.
‘Even though I won, I did not jump as well as I wish I would have,’ Curtis said. Yet, she is glad she was able to ‘get points for the team.’
The women’s 4×100-meter relay of Curtis, senior Jessica Crow, freshman Orlisha Henlon and sophomore Randi Houston took fourth as they clocked in at 46.84.
In the distance events, senior Jenna Keith and junior Kim Ramirez finished 8-9 in the 1,500-meter race. Keith came in with a time of 4:31.87 and Ramirez, 4:33.90.
Ramirez made a huge comeback in the 800-meter race. She finished her first lap in middle of the pack, but she was able to pick up her pace in the last 400. She sprinted to the finish line at 2:13.62 to place third overall.
‘This [race] was the best way to finish [my season]. It was just amazing,’ Ramirez said.
After she finished ninth in the 1500, Ramirez made sure she left everything out there on the track for the 800. Emotional and in disbelief, Ramirez had one of the best performances of the day for the women’s team.
Finally, in the women’s 100-meter dash, Houston came in fifth with a 12.07 time. The women’s team finished in eighth with a total of 33.50 points out of the nine competing teams.The men took sixth place with a 83.83 total in a field of nine. Next up is the NCAA Regional Championships, where a few of of Irvine’s athletes will compete.