Big West Challenge Cup Recap
Women’s Track and Field
Amassing 143 points on Friday evening at Anteater Stadium in the Big West Challenge Cup, the women’s track and field team finished third behind UC Santa Barbara, who finished with 187.5 points, Long Beach State, who finished with 170 points, and just ahead of Cal State Fullerton, who finished with 139.5 points.
Sophomore standout Itos Aikhionbare won two events in the Cup, claiming the shot put and the discus throw.
Aikhionbare threw for a 49-7 3/4 mark to clinch the shot put and threw 158-7 in the discus throw, to improve on her No. 3 mark in Anteater history. Aikhionbare also competed in the hammer throw and finished sixth with a mark of 153-1.
Aikhionbare wasn’t the only Anteater claiming a spot in the record books, as junior Lacey Surak won the javelin throw with a mark of 146-7 to rank second-best in school history. In the same event, senior Chelsea Pham took fourth with a mark of 123-5.
In the spirit of setting records, with a 14.25 finish in the 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Paige Bushnell won her event and wrote her name in the UC Irvine record book as the seventh-fastest time in Anteater history. Just behind Bushnell was freshman Megan Benson, who took fifth place with a time of 14.48.
In the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 61.89, Bushnell finished second, while KayC Wharton finished fourth with a time of 64.60.
Sophomore Marie Brashears took third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:13.91 for a personal best. Teammate Sakia Sailinuu trailed Brashears and finished just behind with a time of 2:14.67.
With another second place finish for the ’Eaters, sophomore Kaycee Holcomb finished with a time of 4:35.57 in the 1,500 meters while Chloe Fata finished in sixth place with a time of 4:39.04.
In the 400 meters, Lauren Hackney placed third with a time of 56.78, and Nicole Mendoza came in seventh with a 58.12 finish.
With a sixth place finish in the 100 meters, Melanie Speech finished with a time of 12.52.
Nicole Mendoza clinched a fifth place finish with a time of 11:48.87 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Carlotta Pham finished sixth in the 3,000 meters and Makenna McGrann took eighth place.
Also in the shot put, junior Surak claimed sixth with a mark of 39-8 while Bridget Devaney finished in seventh in the hammer throw and discus throw. Charity Lyons finished seventh in the long jump.
Taking third place, the Irvine 4×100 relay, comprised of Speech, Wharton, Lyons and Benson, finished in a time of 47.89 and with a time of 3:46.38 in the 4×400 relay. Surak, Hackney, Bushnell and Wharton also took third place.
Men’s Track and Field
Coming in at fourth place with 116.5 points, the men’s track and field squad finished behind Long Beach State, who clinched the Cup with 213.5 points, UC Santa Barbara, who finished second with 183 points, and Cal State Fullerton, who came in third with 145 points.
Much like the women, the UC Irvine men took the opportunity to write their own names in the record books. Sophomore Mason Miller claimed second place in the shot put with the sixth best throw in school history with a mark of 55-4 3/4. Miller also took fifth in the javelin throw and fourth in the discus throw.
Kyle Hubbard garnered a second place finish with a time of 54.50 in the 400-meter hurdles as teammate Cameron Vaca took fourth with a time of 54.75.
Hubbard and Vaca also competed in the 110-meter hurdles and finished in seventh and eighth place, respectively.
In the 800 meters, Sam Hyams finished in seventh place as Tommy Newton-Neal followed in eighth place.
Hyams also placed third in the 1,500 meters as junior Andrew Snyder took sixth place.
In the 3,000 meters, Anteaters Alex Tebbe and Rex Nelson took sixth and seventh respectively for Irvine. Julian Lujan came in seventh in the 400 meters as Matt Tyson was seventh in the 200 meters.
Clinching a third place finish for the ’Eaters, Nick Jennings earned a mark of 15-7 in the pole vault while sophomore Stephen Brown tied for fourth place at 15-1.
Bringing home a second place finish in the high jump, Alex Campbell jumped 6-6 3/4 as Mike Kennedy finished in third in both the long jump and the 100 meters.
Trevor Lawrence took eighth place in both the hammer throw and the discus throw.
With company consisting of Kennedy, Lujan, Mike Graf and Tyson, the 4×100 team finished in fourth — an identical finish to the 4×400 team that consisted of Tyson, Lujan, Hubbard and Vaca.
The men and women both compete next at the Mt. SAC Relays on a date that is to be determined in Walnut, California.