By Marvin Luu
Senior Jacob Schulze and sophomore David Kim both finished with a grand total of 220 to snag 20th place, leading all ‘Eaters at the Big West Conference Championships in Simi Valley, a three day event which began last Monday and concluded Wednesday.
After a slow first day of the competition in which Kim had gone three-over par 72, Kim bounced back by shooting an even 72. On Wednesday, Kim posted a one-over 73 to conclude his day.
Schulze shot on par for two consecutive days before hitting a small snag Wednesday, going four-over 76.
Redshirt freshman Chris Parkinson trailed Schulz and Kim by a pair of points at 222. The San Ramon Valley product shot one-over 73 on the final two days of the Championships to take the 24th slot among 45 competitors.
UCI concluded the 54-hole course in 8th with 891. UC Riverside struck gold with 862 while Cal Poly came in three shy at 863.
Women’s Track and Field
Senior Melanie Speech and junior Elizabeth Cotociu were among 17 competitors in the heptathlon—an event in which competitors take part in seven separate events including the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200-meter dash, long jump, javelin, and 800-meter—at the Big West Conference Multi Championships in Long Beach.
Cotociu garnered 4,432 points and placed 10th while Speech took in 4,192 points and finished in 13th Saturday.
During the first day of the event on Friday, Cotociu registered a time of 15.56 in the 100-meter hurdles, a mark of 4-7 ¾ in the high jump, and 29-7 ½ in the shot put before capping off her evening with a 26.75 finish in the 200-meter dash.
Speech got off to an early start and led all competitors with a 42-5½ mark in the shot put. Speech also notched a time of 17.03 in the 100-meter hurdles, a mark of 4-9 in the high jump, before taking in a time of 26.61 in the 200-meter dash to finish off the first day in ninth with 2,627 points.
Cotociu continued with a great outing on Saturday, moving up three spots from 13th courtesy of topping all competitors with 2:16.63 in the 800-meter. Cotociu also posted a 17-9 in the long jump and 87-8 in the javelin throw, an event that Speech had placed in second with a 127-3.
Speech also recorded a time of 3:01.56 in the 800 meters and a 16-6½ in the long jump.
UCI will return to Long Beach next weekend for the Big West Championships.
Athletic Accolades and Honors
Over the past week, a number of UCI athletes have received honors and nods from the Big West Conference within their respective sports.
Women’s Water Polo
After being named the Big West Freshman of the Year, sophomore Mary Brooks received a first team all Big West nod and earned her second straight Big West title as this season’s Player of the Year.
Brooks led the ‘Eaters offensively, burying in a total of 55 goals and averaging 1.83 for the season.
Junior Gabby Pierandozzi was named to the second team while juniors Destene Albers and Annika Nelson received honorable mentions.
Nelson led the conference with fewest goals allowed, averaging 5.65 saves a night.
Senior Sarah Gong received her second career first team all-Big West nod after snagging seven singles duel victories this season with a 4-3 record in the No.1 spot during conference play. Gong was previously named to the first team back in 2014 as a sophomore when she went 5-2 in the Big West conference.
Gong and junior Mazy Watrous were named to the doubles second team. The duo pulled a major upset over UC Santa Barbara’s nationally ranked tandem consisting of Stefani Stojic and Palina Dubavets in early April.
Sophomore Vivien Dvali received her first All-Big West honor with a second team singles nod. Dvali picked up some steam towards the end of the season, winning seven of her ten matches.
Seven players earned Big West honors this season including senior Nico Mertens and sophomore Sebastian Heim who both received first team singles honors for the second consecutive time.
Mertens finished with an 11-7 record in duel matches in the No.1 and No.2 spot and a 3-1 outing in Big West play. Heim continues to climb up the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings with a 10-3 record at the singles spot. The sophomore, as of February, is ranked 55th.
Sophomore Luca Marquard and senior Tyler Pham took home singles honorable mentions. Pham also shared a doubles honorable mention with senior Jonathan Hammel.
Seniors Justin Agbayani and Jonathan Poon picked up a first team doubles honor after winning five matches at the No.1 slot, a position that played at the majority of the season.