Event: Brutus Hamilton Invitational
Where: Edwards Stadium – Berkeley, Calif.
When: Friday and Saturday; all day
Who to watch: Junior Alison Stoakley has been a consistent top performer in the 3,000m steeplechase, owning the two best times on the team this season. Her personal best of 10:57.31 is just shy of the regional qualifying mark of 10:50.25, and places her No. 2 all-time in the UC Davis record books.
She has been closely followed by Caitlin Fitzgerald, the No. 4 all-time performer, in the event. Both have also had some success in the 1,500m – the event that they are expected to run this weekend.
“Stoakley and Fitz are going away from the steeple to do something complimentary,“ said distance coach Drew Wartenburg. “You can‘t go out and run the target event every time out.“
Did you know? While distance standout Kim Conley will be resting this weekend, Sara (Bei) Hall – Conley‘s teammate at Montgomery High School – will be racing in the elite heat of the 5,000m.
Hall joined with Conley to win a state cross country title in the fall of 2000. She has since gone on to have an impressive professional career, having represented the United States at the Indoor World Championships as well as in cross country.
Preview: The Aggies have been having some injury issues lately. They hope that most of them are behind them as they travel to Berkeley for the elite Brutus Hamilton Invite.
“We are continuing to race people back to contention like Seante Baker and Ugo Eke,“ said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “After not racing for so long, [their performances last week] were a bright spot. Nicole Theus and Stephanie Eckels are both at 100 percent, so that is good.“
Eke and Baker were both able to crack 57 seconds in the 400m last weekend, and look to do even better this time. Eke holds a personal best of 55.51 while Baker has a best of 56.03. Eke is also entered in the 200m, where she holds the school record of 24.41.
Ashley Hearn, entered in both the shot put and the discus throw, is also expected to do well. At this same facility in March, Hearn qualified for regionals in the discus on her very first throw of the season (47.48). She wasn‘t able to match that effort this past weekend, though, falling nearly four meters shy of that mark.
“Ashley is not proud of her performance at Mt. SAC,“ said Vochatzer. “She did a good job, but she had some huge, huge out of sector throws.“