Track athletes break records

Debby von Winckelmann

The CSUN men and women’s track and field team will compete in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Indoor Track and Field Championship on February 23 and 24 in Nampa, Idaho. The competition is hosted by Boise State University and will take place at Jackson’s Track at the Idaho Sports Center.

“It should be just an outstanding meet,” said head coach Don Strametz. Boise State to be tough competition for the men’s team and Louisiana Tech will be the challenge for the women’s team, he said.

The short 2007 indoor track and field season has produced some notable performances by the CSUN men and women, with many included in WAC’s top ten times of the 2006-2007 indoor season. Most impressive has been the NCAA provisional qualifying marks set by seniors Justin Johnson and La’Shana Verdon. Both athletes are the first multi-event competitors in CSUN history to qualify. Johnson scored 5,347 points in the heptathlon and Verdon scored 3,828 points in the pentathlon. Both were competing in the UW Indoor Invitational on Jan. 26.

Johnson was named WAC Indoor Men’s Athlete of the Week on Jan. 31 for his performance, which was a WAC record, school indoor record and a career-best. In addition to holding the top mark in the WAC this season in the heptathlon, Johnson also has the top high jump performance at a height of 2.07 meters (6’9.5″). His other top ten WAC performances include tenth in the pole vault with a height of 4.31 meters (14’1.75″) and seventh in the long jump with a distance of 6.88 meters (22’7″).

Verdon’s pentathlon performance is currently the second best in WAC. Her distance of 11.98 meters (39’3.75″) in the triple jump is the fourth best in the conference this season and she is tied with teammate Dominique Calvin for the third best distance in the long jump with a distance of 5.91 meters (19’4.75). Verdon’s time of 2:17.75 in the 800 meters is ninth in the WAC.

“We’re blessed. We’ve got a lot of really good, quality, young athletes here who are just going continue to improve and get better,” said head coach Don Strametz.

Senior Anthony Brown has the best time in the conference at 6.95 seconds for the 60-meters high hurdles at 6.95. He also has the third best time for the 60-meters at 6.82 while sophomore Bradley Ike is in fifth with a time of 6.95. Also posting top ten times in the 60-meters high hurdles are junior Thomas Ross is in second with a time of 8.04 and junior Dane Van Buren with the seventh best time of 8.25.

Three Matadors are in the top ten in the 400 meters. Junior Allen Lindsay is in third with a time of 48.72 seconds, senior Kevin Fahie in sixth at 49.06 and junior Kevin Nious in eighth with a time of 49.21. The CSUN men also have the best time in the 4X400 Relay, at 3:13.80.

Rounding out the running events, senior Manual Ruiz holds the second best time in the 3,000-meters for his time of 8:27.89 and junior Landen Llamas’ time of 1:56.84 is the seventh best for the 800-meters.

In the field events, four Matador men hold top ten places in the high jump. In addition to Johnson’s first place mark, sophomore Awet Hagos has the fifth best height at 2.00 meters (6’6.75″), freshman Owen Morse has seventh with 1.90 (6’2.75″) and freshman Robert Robinson has eighth with 1.85 (6’0.75″).

Senior Sean Jones leads in the pole vault with a height of 5.05 meters (16’6.75″). Junior Corey Gosser and freshman Anthony Orozco are tied for eighth with a height of 4.46 (14’7.5″). In the long jump, junior Rolando Felizola is first with a leap of 7.45 meters (24’5.5″). Junior Thomas Ross is in fourth at a distance of 7.07 meters (23’2.5″), senior DaShalle Andrews is fifth with a distance of 7.02 (23’0.5″) and senior Jonathan Moore is in tenth at 6.82 (22’4.5″). In the triple jump, junior Rolando Felizola has the second best distance at 15.24 meters (50′), Hagos is in third with a leap of 15.02 (49’3.5″) and senior Jonathan Moore is in seventh at 14.19 (46’6.75″). Senior Tomas Fajardo is in second in the shot put with a distance of 17.93 meters (58’10”). Freshman Joseph Fraijo is in seventh with 15.86 (52’0.5″) and freshman Derek Cooper is in ninth with a distance of 15.52 (50’11”).

Sophomore Cody Pearce is sixth in the weight throw at 18.22 meters (59’9.5″) and junior Nick Saylor is in ninth with 17.55 (57’7″). In the heptathlon freshman Owen Morse is in fourth with 4,382 points.

CSUN women are also well represented in WAC’s top ten performances. Junior Ashleigh McGrew has the conference’s best time in the 60-meters high hurdles with a time of 8.61. Five Matador women have top ten times for the 60-meters. Senior Shauna Hackett is in third with a time of 7.63 and freshman Sherrina Lofton is in fourth with a time of 7.71. In fifth is senior Deanna Goodwin with a time of 7.75 and junior Cristal Steen is in sixth with a time of 7.77. Sophomore Dominique Calvin is in ninth with a time of 7.83.

Deanna Goodwin is third in the 200-meters with a time of 24.81 and freshman Shelese Ruffin is in eighth with a time of 25.08. Ruffin is also third in the 400-meters with a time of 56.01 and Krystal Quinn is eighth with a time of 57.20. The CSUN women have the second best time in the 4X400-meters relay with a time of 3.44.

In the 800-meters junior Cherie McPherson has the eighth best time at 2:17.41. Senior Julie Hancock is in seventh in the 3000-meters with a time of 10:11.86 and also has the second best time in the 5,000-meters at 18:15.95.

Sophomore Jere Summers holds the top mark in the shot put with a distance of 15.99 meters (52’5.5″). Senior Bobbie Patton is in fifth with a mark of 14.63 (48′). Sophomore Raquel Sola is in third in the weight throw with a distance of 18.09 (59’4.25″) and Summers is in fourth with a throw of 17.80 (58’4.75″). Junior Jessica Beach is in tenth with a mark of 16.27 (53’4.5″).

Strametz said the team’s big improvements in the weight room during the fall have been an important factor this season.

“We had probably the best fall workouts that we’ve had in a long time, especially in the weight room. I think that can be attributed to the three assistant coaches that I have, Avery Anderson, Bridget Pearson and Seilala Sua It’s the best working staff I’ve had for a long time, we’re all on the same page,” said Stramaez.

“The job is to win the conference championship,” said Strametz. “That’s always the goal ? to be conference champion. That’s what we strive for, that’s what we aim for,” he said.

The WAC Indoor Championship will include teams from Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, LA Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, Utah State, in addition to CSUN. The action starts on Feb. 23 at 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time.