Event: Big West Conference Multi-Event Championships; Sac State Open
Where: Anteater Stadium – Irvine, Calif.; Hornet Stadium – Sacramento, Calif.
When: Friday and Saturday, all day; Saturday at 10:45 a.m.
Who to watch: Junior Anikia Jackson has competed in two heptathlons for the Aggies since transferring to UC Davis in the fall.
She won both of them.
The former junior college state champion in the heptathlon, Jackson is currently ranked fourth in the conference with her score of 4,903, set while winning the UC Multi Meet in March.
“My goal is to be at 5,400 at conference,” said Jackson. “The most critical event for me is the sprints and the high jump. Those are major high scoring events. Every second and every inch is crucial in the heptathlon.“
Did you know? The heptathlon – and the men’s multi-event, the decathlon – is unlike any other event in the sport. While other events see how fast an athlete can run, how far they can throw, or how far they can jump, the heptathlon requires athletes to do all three.
The heptathlon is contested over two days, with the first day involving the 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m. On the second day, the athletes contest the long jump, javelin throw and 800m.
After each event, the time or distance is converted to points based on an internationally regulated table. The athlete with the most points at the end of the two-day event wins.
Preview: Unlike last year, when UC Davis didn’t send a single heptathlete to the championships, the Aggies are hoping to start the Big West Championships off right.
While the main portion of the championships begins one week later, Jackson and freshman Johanne Boulat – No. 9 in the conference – will be heading to Irvine in the hopes of putting some points on the board early on. The top eight finishers in each event score points for their teams.
Rankings won’t mean a thing once the gun goes off Friday morning.
“You never know who has won until the very end of the meet, after the 800m,” Jackson said. “The heptathlon can be won or lost in an instant. You never know how much heart anyone has until the end of the race.“
In addition to Jackson and Boulat, some of the Aggies will be heading to the Sac State Open to get in some tune-up work before heading to their portion of the conference meet.
“The weather [last Friday] really threw a clink in a lot of the stuff we wanted to get done,” said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “We are taking some of our technique people, jumpers particularly, to Sac State. We have to go back over and freshen up a bit in good weather so that they feel confident going into Big West.“
– Alex Wolf-Root