The CSUN women’s track team won the 2007 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Indoor Track and Field Championship on Feb. 24 at Jackson’s Track at the Idaho Sports Center in Nampa, Idaho.
The Matador women won the meet with 117 points, just 3.5 points ahead of Louisiana Tech. The men’s team placed fourth in the meet, scoring 94 points. Boise State won the men’s championship with 128 points, just two points ahead of Utah State. Idaho finished in third place with 112 points.
Head coach Don Strametz said he knew it would be a close meet and winning took every person that scored a point.
“We felt pretty confident about the opportunity to win, but you still got to go out and do it, and if any of those people would have fallen through, that would’ve been it,” Strametz said. “It took everybody to win it, absolutely everybody.”
In addition to the women’s championship, CSUN also took home individual awards, which were voted on by the coaches. Shelese Ruffin won the Women’s Freshmen of the Year award and Junior Justin Johnson shared the men’s Performer of the Year award with Idaho junior Russ Winger. Strametz won the Women’s Coach of the Year award.
“It’s really the assistant coaches and the kids that earned that award, not me,” Strametz said.
The CSUN women led for most of the two-day meet, but Louisiana Tech followed close behind and the championship was determined by the final event, the 4×400 meter relay. Although Louisiana Tech won the race, the points were not enough to put them ahead of CSUN, who received points for coming in second place.
Ruffin placed third in the women’s 400-meter dash at 55.59 seconds after she ran a personal best 55.45 seconds in the preliminaries. She placed fifth in the 200-meter dash at 24.46 seconds and placed third in the long jump with a leap of 6.07 meters (19’11”). She also ran the first leg of the 4×400 meter relay.
“She got us out there and in position,” Strametz said. “And in indoor track, position is everything because it’s very difficult to pass somebody in indoor.”
Johnson won the men’s heptathlon with 5,346 points, which is an NCAA provisional mark, as well as both a WAC indoor record and a venue record. Johnson also took seventh in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.18 seconds.
Several other CSUN athletes had notable performances in the two-day meet, including
Jere Summers who won the shotput with a distance of 16.33 meters (53’07.00″). In addition to being NCAA provisional qualifying mark, the throw was also a personal best for Summers. She placed fourth in the weight throw with a personal best distance of 18.33 meters (60-01.75).
“She just really focused this past weekend,” said assistant coach Seilala (Sly) Sua. “Jere’s a great athlete and she has the ability to throw way beyond that.”
Summers said having a week off weights helped her performance and although she is usually anxious at meets, she was able to put her anxiety aside and “just throw.” She believes her provisional mark is enough to get her into the national championships.
“I know I’m going. There’s a list and I’m about number ten on the list,” said Summers.
Senior DaShalle Andrews won the long jump and achieved an NCAA provisional mark with his leap of 7.74 meters (25-04.75). Senior Anthony Brown won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.97 seconds and took third in the 60-meters at 6.79 seconds.
Senior Sean Jones won the pole vault at a height of 4.90 meters (16-00.75).
LaShana Verdon took second in the women’s pentathlon with 3,783 points, an NCAA provisional mark.
“I felt like I gave a good effort,” said Verdon, although she doesn’t think her provisional mark is enough to get her into the NCAA Championships.
“Indoor takes 18 and right now I’m 23rd. I’m probably not gonna get in,” said Verdon.
Freshman Desirae Gonder placed second in the high jump at 5.08.50 and eighth in the long jump at 5.79 meters (19′). She also competed in the pentathlon for the first time and placed fifth with 3,509 points.
Junior Ashleigh McGrew took third place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.59 seconds and Julie Eze took seventh at 8.93 seconds. Senior Shauna Hackett took third in the 60-meters at 7.73 seconds, while freshman Sherrina Lofton was fifth at 7.77 seconds and junior Cristal Steen was seventh at 7.85 seconds. Junior Krystal Quinn took seventh in the 400-meters at 56.95 seconds. Deanna Goodwin took seventh in the 200-meters at 24.93 seconds. Julie Hancock took fourth in the 5,000-meters at 17:58.57 and placed eighth in the 3,000-meters at 10:30.67.
In the women’s field events, sophomore Raquel Sola took fifth in the weight throw with a distance of 17.36 meters (56-11.50), while junior Jessica Beach placed ninth with her throw of 16.33 meters (53-07.00). Sophomore Dominique Calvin placed fourth in the long jump with a distance of 5.93 meters (19-05.50), followed by Candyce Babb in fifth with a distance of 5.90 meters (19.04.25). Babb also placed 11th in the triple jump at 11.09 meters (36-04.75). Junior Krystal Quinn took sixth in the pole vault at 3.68 meters (12-00.75) followed by junior Jocelyn Do, placing eighth at 3.53 meters (11-07.00). Senior Bobbie Patton placed fifth in the shotput with a distance of 14.53 meters (47-08.50).
For the men, freshman Robert Robinson took fourth in the heptathlon with 4,850 points and freshman Owen Morse took seventh with 4,462 points. Junior Thomas Ross took second in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.06 seconds, followed by junior Dane Vanburen at 8.16 seconds. Senior Brandon Ruffin took fifth in the 60-meters at 6.93 seconds, followed by sophomore Bradley Ike in sixth place at 6.96 seconds. Ruffin also took sixth in the 200-meters at 22.08 seconds. Junior Allen Lindsay took fifth in the 400-meters at 48.74 seconds. Senior Manuel Ruiz ran the 3,000-meters in 8:45.78 for seventh place.
In the men’s field events, sophomore Cody Pearce placed seventh in the weight throw at 17.85 meters (58-06.75) and junior Nick Saylor threw 16.22 meters (53-02.75) for 14th place. Junior Thomas Ross took fourth in the long jump with a leap of 7.20 meters (23-07.50), junior Rolando Felizola took seventh with a distance of 6.85 meters (22-05.75), Ruffin took ninth at 6.77 meters (22-02.50) and senior Jonathan Moore took 11th with a distance of 6.65 meters (21-10.00). Felizola also took second in the triple jump with a distance of 15.19 meters (49-10.00), followed by sophomore Awet Hagos in fourth at 15.04 meters (49.04.25), Andrews in fifth at 14.87 meters (48-09.50), and Moore in seventh at 14.78 meters (48.06.00). Hagos took seventh in the high jump at 1.92 meters (6-03.50) and freshman Owen Morse took eighth at 1.82 meters (5-11.50). Freshman Anthony Orozco placed fifth in the pole vault with a height of 4.60 meters (15-01.00), followed by junior Corey Gosser in seventh at 4.45 meters (14-07.25). Derek Cooper took fourth in the shotput with a distance of 17.11 meters (56-01.75).
The NCAA Indoor Championships take place March 9 and 10 in Fayetteville, Ark. The outdoor track season opens with the Northridge Relays on March 14 – 17.