UC Irvine produced a couple strong results on April 28 and 29 at the 18th annual Steve Scott Invitational. The Anteaters had the opportunity to compete against athletes from not only southern California, but from other states and nations as well.
In his final regular season race of his collegiate career, senior Charles Jock broke the meet record in the 800-meter, with the winning time of 1:46.59, breaking the previous record of 1:46.82 held by Khadevis Robinson in 2002. However, he did not beat his personal record.
“It’s only my second race of the year,” said Jock. “I went out a little too fast but I felt pretty good so that’s encouraging. I’m where I should be right now. I’m definitely in 1:45 shape.”
Several Anteaters placed on Saturday afternoon. Senior Brett Matejka ran a career-best 9:13.26 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, shaving 11 seconds off his previous career-best. Matejka placed third in the race.
Sophomore Steven Melena also ran a career-best, running 14:34.77 in the 5,000-meters for a fourth place finish.
On the women’s side, freshman Rosa Serna finished in second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:48.85. Another freshman, Jewelz Andrews, placed third in the same event, finishing at 11:53.31. Aside from Charles Jock, the meet featured other elite athletes on Sunday afternoon. Senior Jacob Yowell found himself outclassed by 2011 World Champion Jason Richardson in the 110-meter hurdles. Yowell broke two hurdles as he stumbled to a fifth place finish for a time of 14.12 while Richardson finished in first for a 13.32 finish.
“That was definitely fun,” said Yowell. “He [Richardson] killed me, but it was still good. I’ve ran against guys who ran 13.6 or 13.5, but never a guy whose PR is 13.3.”
Senior Amber Middleton flirted with beating the school record, finishing the 100-meter hurdles in third place with a time of 13.83.
“I had a good first half of the race, not as good in the second half,” Middleton said. “I’m going for the school record now. It’s a little frustrating that I haven’t got it yet. I’m going to keep being consistent. I talked to my coach after my race, he said I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s just going to about getting the proper recovery after each of the races and coming back and being able to perform.”
The Sunday meet had one more glimpse of Jock as he along with seniors Jacob Yowell, Dominic Jester and junior Chris Carson ran the 4×400 relay. The men’s relay team posted a season-best 3:09.89 and took first place.
The women 4×400 relay team made a statement, breaking the 21-year-old school record. Seniors Middleton, KayC Wharton, Kelly Collins and junior Ericka Nowell posted a 3:42.69 time, breaking the previous record of 3:42.87 set in 1991.
The Anteaters will compete again in the Big West Championship at Anteater Stadium on May 11 and 12.