Events: Chico State Multi; California Quadrangular; Washington Last Chance Qualifier
Where: University Stadium – Chico, Calif.; Edwards Stadium – Berkeley, Calif.; The Dempsey – Seattle, Wash.
When: Thursday and Friday, all day; Saturday, all day
Who to watch: According to coach Deanne Vochatzer, Stephanie Eckels is a funny story.
The junior co-captain, while originally a sprinter, is now starting to turn heads in the jumps.
“Here she is in her third year with us, and we’re just discovering her ability in the jumps,” Vochatzer said. “She triple jumped for us some last year, then she long jumped 18 feet at our intrasquad and that’s the first time she ever long jumped. We’re looking forward to some big things from her come May.“
Eckels is expected to run the 100m, long jump, triple jump and lead off the 4x100m. And if that’s not enough, she may jump in the 4x400m, too.
Did you know? While the majority of the team is starting its outdoor campaigns, senior distance runners Kim Conley and Kaitlin Gregg will be going for one last chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor National Championships.
Both have provisional qualifiers, but are gunning for the auto, as it will likely take that to get in. Conley will be running the 3,000m while Gregg competes in the 5,000m. Each has the school record in their respective event.
Preview: After a successful intrasquad, the Aggies have plenty to look forward to with their first actual competition.
Up at Chico, three multi-eventers will have their Aggie heptathlon debut: Tiffany Knox, Johanne Boulat and Anikia Jackson.
Top athletes to watch at the main meet at Berkeley include Nicole Theus in the 100m and 200m, Kiara Reed and Willa Porter in the 400m and Ugo Eke in her first real 400m hurdle race. Also, all four of these athletes will compete in at least one of the relays.
“It’ll be fun because it’ll be time for both our relays, 4x100m and 4x400m, to go and compete,” Vochatzer said. “We got to run a little bit at intrasquad, but we’re looking forward to our relays getting a chance to go out there.“
– Alex Wolf-Root