49.2 F

Davis, California

Friday, March 1, 2024

Williams paces Aggies at Payton Jordan Invitational

Like the Aggiesvery own Energizer bunny,Sirena Williams just keeps going and going.

The sophomore had topped the school-recordtime in the100-meter hurdles for three straight weeks,including a time of13.80seconds at the Causeway Classic Dual last week,but unavailable wind readings kept her program mark at13.96.

This past weekend,the two-time Big West Conference Track Athlete of the Week won the100-meter hurdleswith an NCAA regional-qualifying time of13.75seconds at the Payton Jordan Invitational hosted by Stanford.

“She’s what we call the real deal,saidwomen’s head coach Deanne Vochatzer.Both (hurdles coach) Byron [Talley] and I have worked with her a lot and she just continues to improve.

“It’s been six weeks of drop,drop,drop,Talley said of Williamsmarks.She’s really starting to understand the feel of it and it’s exciting to help shape her into someone who can be competitive at the Division I level.

Since Williamswin on Sunday came with a tailwind of3.0meters/second more than the maximum2.0mpsallowed for record purposes but less than the maximum4.0mpsallowed for regional-qualifying efforts– her official school record still stands at13.96.

“It was wind-aided,but the bottom line is that itwasregional-qualifying,Vochatzer said.She’s already punched her ticket and now she can just train hard and know she will go to regionals.

Senior Kim Conley also had a successful weekend,breaking her own school record in the5,000meterswith a time of16:23.58to top her previous16:30.22.

In all,the women’s team claimed14top-five finishes at the invitational.

The men’s squad finished with eight top-five finishes,including senior Tolu Wusu’s win in the triple jump with a season-best14.97meters.The mark ties for the fourth-longest finish on the team this season and was just shy of the NCAA regional mark of15.00meters.

Freshman Jonathan Peterson finished in10th place in the5,000meters with a career-best time of14:20.70that moved him from No.8to No.5on the program’s all-time leader’s list.

“The men stepped up and kind of set the tone for all the distance runners,Talley said.

On Saturday,UC Davis sent three team members to the Steve Scott Invitational at UC Irvine.Senior K.C.Cody took fourth in the5,000with a time of14:42.49while sophomore Thomas Dileo placed15th and freshman Calvin Thigpen led the steeplechase into the final lineup before finishing second in9:15.87.

The Aggies will be back on the track this Saturday for the Aggie Twilight event beginning at4p.m.


RAY LIN can be reached atsports@californiaaggie.com.


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