The Steve Scott Invitational kicked off with the arduous 3,000-meter steeplechase and continued until the last baton crossed the line for the men’s 400-meter relay.
As the day progressed there were many great individual performances, as well as a good showing from UC Irvine’s Track and Field team as a whole.
Associate Coach Ben Cesar pointed out Kristen Silverman, who had a phenomenal day setting lifetime bests in both the 100-meter dash and the 100m hurdles at times of 12.44 and 14.95, respectively. ‘The team had a good overall performance and the meet was a great foundation for building alumni relations,’ Cesar said.
Alumni relations, something the track team desires to increase, was a theme of the entire event. Steve Scott, as well as dozens of other alumni, showed up to watch the school perform. The invitational was named after Scott, who holds the American record for the mile at 3:47.69, which was set in 1982. He was an outstanding runner that was inducted into the UCI hall of fame in 1983 and the national Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2002.
Women’s 800-meter runner Lauren Morten had nothing but nice things to say about Scott, and insisted on a great UCI performance ‘with lots of qualifiers and personal records.’
Fellow teammate Amber Steen was one of the top performers, destroying the competition in the 1,500-meter with a time of 4:29.51. UCI did, however, have a lot of competition, facing off against several other local colleges such as Riverside, Long Beach State, Chapman, San Diego State, as well as an array of running clubs and organizations.
With the Big West Conference Championships coming up in two weeks, the track team is already preparing. Many on the team think they have a great shot, and if this is any indication, they just might. As a team, the Anteaters won men’s hammer throw, men’s 4×400-meter relay, women’s high jump, women’s 1,500-meter and finished second in the men’s 1,500-meter. Russell Bush, who later in the day ran the 5,000-meter, thought the invitational was ideal.
‘It’s really great to see all the alumni and fans out supporting us,’ Bush said. Record crowds of alumni were at the event, but the invitational was more about the outstanding athletic performances. Senior Michael Beerer out-staged everyone else in the hammer throw, one of the crowd favorites. Beerer launched the hammer with a mark of 205-4.
Another one of the obvious crowd favorites was the javelin throw. This spectator event left out of high school track events for the obvious dangers, is now drawing huge crowds. Sophomore Trent Richet led UCI once again with a mark of 170-7 and finished in the middle of the pack.
With so much success from the various Irvine athletes, there are plenty of reasons to join the track and field team bandwagon.
With performances such as Lauren Collins out-dueling Long Beach State’s Emily Forsythe in the high jump with a mark of 5-7 to win the event.
Individual efforts and a great team spirit are what the team needs to make it to the next level and succeed at the conference championships.