Aikhionbare Breaks Record

Track and field: Aikhionbare breaks UCI school record with efforts at the Beach Invitational.

Beach Invitational

In the sweltering heat on Saturday, April 20, sophomore track star Itos Aikhionbare stepped up to compete in the discus throw at the Beach Invitational at Cerritos College located in Norwalk, California.

Aikhionbare stood ready, wound up, and launched her artillery — a thud sounded as the discus violently collided with the ground.

That was the sound of a record being shattered.

With a mark of 169-4, Aikhionbare broke a 28-year-old UCI record and now takes her place at the top of the Irvine record books as the Anteater with the best mark in her event. The previous record set in 1985 belonged to Brenda Westbrook who threw 164-11.

With the record-breaking mark, Aikhionbare placed third out of 80 competitors on Saturday in the discus throw and brought home second place in the shot put out of 69 competitors with a final mark of 49-5.

After winning the shot put with a mark of 49-7 3/4 and the discus throw with a throw of 158-7 in the Big West Challenge Cup the previous weekend in Anteater Stadium, Aikhionbare received Big West honors on Tuesday, April 16 for her first place finishes.

Aikhionbare was named the Big West Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the week and accounted for 22 of the team’s points, including a sixth place finish in the hammer throw with a 153-1 finish.

Also at the Beach Invitational, sophomore Paige Bushnell claimed a spot in the UCI record books when she finished with a time of 14.22 in the 100-meter hurdles for a 12th place finish out of 78 competitors. Her time ranks sixth all-time as she tied Marieke Veltman’s record set in 1992.

In the javelin throw, junior Lacey Surak tossed for a 149-1 mark, improving on her previous throw that ranked second all-time in school history.

Junior Carlotta Pham finished in the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:00.44 to claim 15th place.  Teammate Nicole Mendoza finished in seventh place in the open 5,000 meters with a time of 18:38.72. Coming in ninth place was Makenna McGrann at 18:46.94.

Mt. SAC Relays

UCI opened competition at the 55th annual Mt. SAC Relays on Thursday, April 18.

Sophomore Kaycee Holcomb recorded a time of 4:39.62 as senior teammate Chloe Fata finished with a time of 4:51.93.

Leading the Irvine Anteaters, senior Samia Sailinuu recorded a ninth place finish in her section of the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:37.57.

On Friday, April 19, Bushnell wrote her name in the No. 8 spot as she claimed the eighth-fastest time in Irvine history in the 400-meter hurdles.

Bushnell also won her section with a time of 61.17 to claim a 21st finish out of 42 competitors.

Ending in third place in her section, freshman Kaulyn Lee-McNeill finished with a time of 61.33.

With a time of 57.59 in the 400 meters, sophomore Lauren Hackney finished second in her section.

Sailinuu ran for a season-best 2:13.40 for a fourth place finish in her section of the 800 meters, while teammate Marie Brashears ran a 2:26.22.

Adidas/Steve Scott Invitational

UC Irvine will host the Invitational this Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28 at Anteater Stadium.

According to the tenative schedule, Saturday’s competition will begin with the field events at 2 p.m. and the track events will kick off at 6 p.m.