Event: Brutus Hamilton Invitational
Where: Edwards Stadium – Berkeley, Calif.
When: Friday and Saturday; all day
Who to watch: Senior Polly Gnepa captured the 110m hurdles at the elite Mt. SAC Relays last week by clocking a 13.99. That time made him only the second Aggie to ever break the 14-second barrier. Jazz Trice, who finished second to Gnepa this time, was the first.
“When I was warming up I felt really good,” said Gnepa, “so I knew it would be a fast race for me. I knew there were a lot of fast people going into the race, so I knew I would have to be on top of things to do well.“
In addition to the hurdles, both Gnepa and Trice will partake in the 100m – an event they may be asked to compete in at the upcoming Causeway dual and at the Big West Conference Championships.
Did you know? Thanks to funding by the New York Road Runners, an elite runners club, the distance events will see a slew of Olympians and national record holders. They will be aiming to earn their “A” standard to be eligible for this year’s World Championships.
The 5,000m (Friday at 8:46 p.m.) will feature Olympians from four nations: Jorge Torres of the United States, Tom Lancashire of Great Britain, Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico and Kevin Sullivan of Canada.
The 10,000m (Friday at 9:39 p.m.) boasts Olympians Anthony Famiglietti (United States), Michael Aish (New Zealand), Martin Fagan (Ireland), Juan Carlos Romero (Mexico), Andrew Lemoncello (Great Britain) and Collis Birmingham (Australia).
Preview: Unlike the next two weeks of events, finishing place is not the main goal for the Aggies at the Brutus Hamilton Invite.
“This is a qualifying meet,” said coach Jon Vochatzer. “We want to push as best we can to qualify as many as we can. Next week’s Causeway Classic is about scoring.“
The distances are especially key for the Aggies this meet, as many potential conference scorers have yet to get their qualifying marks. Entered are seniors K.C. Cody and Pat Parsel, sophomores Jonathan Peterson and Scott Himmelberger and freshman Kindu Ejigu.
“This meet is a key meet,” said Vochatzer. “It’s about qualifying. It really comes down to those guys making sure they know what they can do.”
– Alex Wolf-Root