Event: Causeway Classic
Where: Hornet Stadium– Sacramento, Calif.
When: Friday at 4:15 p.m. (field), 5:15 p.m. (track)
Who to watch: Senior Kim Conley is one of the nation‘s top distance runners, currently ranked No. 20 in the nation in the 5,000m and No. 27 in the 1,500m. At Friday‘s Causeway Classic, though, she will be doing something different: the 800m.
“[The last time I ran the 800m was] Causeway last year,“ said Conley, “and I lost to Renisha [Robinson]. She‘ll be there. Her P.R. is 2:08 and mine is 2:10. They‘ve got another girl who ran 2:07.“
Less than an hour after her foray into the 800m, Conley will bounce back in the 3,000m, an event where she has the indoor school record.
“The [outdoor] school record is 9:28, and I ran 9:19 indoors,“ Conley said. “That‘s what I‘m looking at, so we‘ll just see how I feel.“
Did you know? Senior Sirena Williams broke her school record in the 110m hurdles yet again last week, as she stopped the clock at 13.79 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. That time placed her sixth in the invitational heat, which was won by Olympic silver medalist Hyleas Fountain.
For her performance, Williams was named the Big West Conference Track Athlete of the Week.
“It was fun competing against elite runners,“ said Williams. “I treated them as if they were just any other runners, which they are. I felt no pressure at all. As far as breaking my own record again, it is pretty amazing. I am going to continue to try to break it with every race I run.“
Preview: Unlike last week‘s Brutus Hamilton Invite – which was unscored – this meet is all about competing for the team.
“It should be a fun meet to watch,“ said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “I‘m hoping the pressure and thrill of competition will let them get it done. It will be a good, competitive meet, and it‘s the last full team meet before Big West.“
One athlete who is sure to benefit from the competitive atmosphere will be junior Ugo Eke, who is bouncing back from an injury sustained early this season.
“Ugo clearly is still recovering from her ankle injury,“ said Vochatzer. “She‘s lost a lot of training, but for her to run 55.26 out of Lane 1 – I think she can get the regional qualifier.“
It will take more than just a few star athletes to win this meet, and all the Aggies are fired up looking to get the job done.
“Your pride is always on the line when you‘re competing against Sac State,“ said Conley. “Everyone‘s getting excited for it.“
– Alex Wolf-Root