Four field eventers won a total of five events for UC Davis as the Aggies put forth a solid showing at their home debut, the Aggie Open, on Saturday.
“Overall for the day, I think we got done what we wanted to get done,” said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “We had some highlights in the field events, specifically the lady triple jumpers. To have two women over 39” again and our little freshman heptathlete jump 37‘8 was exciting.“
Co-captain Stephanie Eckels was the winner in the event, jumping 11.98m with Ofunne Okwudiafor second at 11.94m. Johanne Boulat was fourth in 11.49m.
The Aggies won four other field events, with Brit Bickel throwing 39.17m in the javelin, Anikia Jackson jumping 5.39m in the long jump and Chid Onyewuenyi winning the shot put (13.26m) and hammer throw (50.91m). Ashley Hearn also broke the 50m-barrier (50.06m) to take second in the hammer throw.
Distance runners started the meet off strong in the 3,000m steeplechase, with sophomore Caitlin Fitzgerald taking second and Alison Stoakley finishing fourth. While her form over the barriers left something to be desired, Fitzgerald clocked 11:05.40 to move to third on the Aggie all-time list in her steeplechase debut.
“[Distance coach] Drew [Wartenburg] was talking to me yesterday, trying to allay my fears about the water jump,” Fitzgerald said. “He said not to worry because there’d be girls who’d just stand on top of the water barrier, plug their nose and cannonball in. And that’s exactly what I did, all seven laps.“
In the two-mile, senior Lorin Scott ran a strong 10:32.56 to take second, despite having to run alone on a windy track for the vast majority of the race.
“Overall it was a little tough just mentally with the wind,” Scott said. “I was happy with the effort, but I think there’s a lot more I can do. If I felt that good running that fast, I think I can do it for another four laps and run a fast 5K.“
The Aggies lone win on the track came in the 4x400m relay. While the “A” team scratched, the “B” team, which had freshmen on the first three legs, showed the Aggies‘ depth and tenacity, as senior Katie Maltester anchored them home in 3:58.12.
“I think we were very positive about it,” Maltester said. “Everyone in my race had a good, strong day. Each person did their part.“
Maltester, who also took second in the 400m hurdles, had one key advantage going into her anchor leg of the 4x400m: high socks.
“When you wear high socks you have to really be careful, because if you don’t come in first you just look really ridiculous,” Maltester said. “I was tired of not doing well, so today I decided, ‘I’m going to wear my dang high socks.‘”
ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at email@example.com.