One week after their impressive performance at the Cal-Nevada Championships, the Aggies came back to Northern California to compete at the Mondo Invite at Sacramento State.
While it had some highlights, the meet as a whole can be best described as average, according to coach Deanne Vochatzer.
“It was the first week back at school and a week after Cal-Nevada,” she said. “Not making excuses, but we looked like it. We looked like we were just getting back into it.“
Still, the Aggies managed to get another regional qualifying mark when Kim Conley won the 1,500m. She clocked a 4:22.17, bumping her to No. 2 on the all-time list.
“It felt really good,” Conley said. “I ran a smarter race than I ran last weekend, so it definitely chased some of the demons out of my head. It was good to jump back on the horse and do it right.“
Last week, Conley qualified for the regional championships in the 5,000m, making this the second year in a row that she’s qualified for both. While she plans to compete the 5,000m at regionals – and hopefully at nationals – she will get a fast 1,500m in during the Mt. SAC invite in Walnut, Calif. in two weeks.
On the field, Tessa Fraser showed that she’s back after a rough opening to the outdoor season. She cleared 3.75m and then narrowly missed at the regional qualifying mark of 3.85m.
“I was happy to get over 3.60 on the first attempt,” Fraser said, “but my sights were set on the next two bars. I knew I could get 3.60m, but I had been having trouble around the 12-foot range. The biggest relief was getting over that next one at 3.75m.“
Fraser started her 2009 campaign very solidly indoors, clearing 3.67m and 3.66m in her two meets. But since outdoors rolled around, she had been unable to clear 3.60m until Saturday.
“The last three weeks have been a bit of a slump,” Fraser said. “We tapered down in practice a little this week, so I think I was a little fresher going into this weekend. I was also a lot more mentally relaxed and I think that helped me clear my head and get over some bars.“
And while she did not set any regional marks or records on the day, the return of Seante Baker from an injury was a bright spot.
“For me a highlight as a coach is to have the return of Seante,” Vochatzer said. “She’s been out for two weeks cause of an Iliotibial band injury that basically just wasted her. She ran 57.53 in the open 400m then 25.50 in the 200m, but she also came back and ran on our ‘B‘ relay and ran a 56 on the relay. That was the most she’s run in two years, so it was a huge day for her.
“I’m just really happy to have her back because she shows an Aggie spirit that I’ve missed. It was a special day to have the return of a senior who’s had a pretty rough time.“
ALEX WOLF-ROOT can be reached at email@example.com.