Big Challenge, Big Results
The 19th annual Big West Challenge Cup for UC Irvine’s men’s and women’s track and field teams was held on Friday, April 8 at Anteater Stadium, proving to be a good determiner of upcoming competition for the Anteaters.
“Overall, in the scheme of things, this is more of a fun event to compete with our Big West rivals, Long Beach, Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton. It’s like a stepping stone, but mostly to get out there and have fun,” Sophomore Charles Jock said.
The Big West competition proved to be fair rivals, though the Anteaters won six events on the men’s side and two events for the women.
Track and field assistant coach Jeff Perkins said UCI’s toughest competition at the meet was Long Beach State, but the Anteaters were there to excel in as many events as possible.
The Lady Anteaters placed second overall with 194 points, following UC Santa Barbara with 213 1/2, while the men’s team placed third overall with 132 points, following Long Beach State with 223 1/2 points and UC Santa Barbara with 199 1/2.
Jock, who anchored the NCAA West Regional qualifying 4×400 relay and is the third fastest 800-meter runner in UC Irvine’s history, finished first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.07. Jock also helped Dominic Jester, Chris Carson and Napoleon Greene place first in the 4×400 with a time of 3:14.54.
Senior Alicia Misiaita, who in 2009 qualified for NCAA championships and placed first in the Big West Challenge Cup, finished first for shot put on Friday with a mark of 46-9 1/2 and third in the discus throw at 139-0.
Misiaita shared that although there was definitely some good competition at this pre-conference, the meet was also meant to bring the team together.
Other winners on the women’s team included Senior Madeline Leduc in long jump and triple jump, senior Breeanca Fleming winning the 100 meters with a 12.17 time and junior Amber Middleton placing first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 62.91.
On the men’s side, seniors Sam Hyams and Victor Bonilla dominated in distance, Hyams taking first in the 1,500 meters in 3:48.38 and Bonilla leading a 1-2-3 UCI finish in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:27.29.
Juniors Brennen Halliday and Nick Jennings took first as well: Halliday dominated the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:19.52 and Jennings won the pole vault with a mark of 16-4 3/4.
UCI placed in the top three frequently, not only in distance but field events as well.
UC Irvine will look to build off their momentum as they travel to Azusa Pacific on April 13.