After opening up there two weeks ago, the UC Davis women’s track team returned to Seattle to compete against some of the top collegiate athletes in the nation.
“For us to go up in that environment, with 1,000 plus athletes from all over the country, it was pretty fearsome stuff,” coach Deanne Vochatzer said. “It’s really good for our team to get tough and go in there and stick our nose in and, no matter if it’s Oregon, Stanford, LSU – no matter, to just get used to it.“
The Aggies saw six marks affect the all-time lists, two of which were new school records. Kim Conley broke her own mark in the 3,000m by running a 9:19.56 while Kaitlin Gregg set the record in the 5,000m.
“It was a good way to open the season,” Conley said. “It was 11 seconds faster than what I ran there last year, so I can’t complain. I was shooting for 9:15 [the NCAA automatic qualifier], but I was happy with it because it was a good open to the season. That was the bottom line. I just wanted to go out there and PR.“
Gregg had not only never run a 5,000m indoors before, but was also recovering from being sick, which cost her about four days of training the previous week.
“It was my first indoor 5K,” said Gregg, “and I had to ask [distance coach] Drew [Wartenburg] before the race how many laps it was, because I didn’t know how many laps on the indoor track it was. It’s 16. Sixteen-plus.“
After earning a provisional qualifier in the 3,000m two weeks ago, Gregg was hoping to do the same in the 5,000m this week (16:45), but had to settle with a 16:51.27 school record.
“The school record is definitely cool,” Gregg said. “To be honest, I was hoping for faster than that. So I learned a lot, and if I can go out in 5:15-5:20 (she went out in 5:09), then hopefully that’ll bode for better results.“
Senior Lorin Scott again influenced the all-time list in the 3,000m, running a 9:43.78 to improve on her number by three spots from two weeks ago. Also in the middle-distances was junior Jenna Gailey, who ran the indoor mile for the first time in her career, clocking in at 4:59.33. This makes her only the second Aggie to break five minutes indoors.
Additionally, senior Chelsea Azevedo ran an 8.95 in the 60m hurdles to tie her sister for the third spot on the all-time list. Junior co-captain Stephanie Eckels jumped 11.51m in the triple jump to place second in her flight, breaking up a pair of Cal Poly jumpers to move to No. 5 all-time.
“It was really great that we were able to go up there twice,” Gregg said. “This meet was the best on the West Coast, if not the country, so it was great to be up there and compete with all those other people. I’m excited that I’ll have indoor eligibility next year because it’s fun to go up there.“
ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.