The Aggies saw a higher level of competition over the weekend when they returned to the University of Washington for their second consecutive meet.
UC Davis did not return empty handed, though. The women met the challenge, setting five new school records. The men, meanwhile, managed many personal bests.
“A lot more heavy hitters came into the meet,” said coach Jon Vochatzer. “The team really stepped up to the plate.”
One of the more notable performances on the women’s side came from senior Sirena Williams. She managed to break her 60-meter hurdles school record with a time of 8.67, beating her old record of 8.82.
“For Sirena Williams to break her own school record – that’s huge,” said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “When you’re going that fast and you only have 60-meters to go, then everything counts.”
Freshman Melanise Chapman had a record-breaking performance in both the 200- and 60-meter races.
Racing for only her second time with the Aggies, Chapman managed to break her own school record in the 200 with a time of 25.28. She also tied the existing school record of 7.81 in the 60.
The UC Davis women impressed in field events as well.
Chidinma Onyewuenyi captured second in the weight throw with a distance of 61-1.50, breaking her old school record by almost five feet.
Senior Tessa Fraser tied Jennifer Swanson’s decade-old school record in the pole vault with a distance of 12-04.0.
While the men didn’t break any school records, many set new personal bests.
Polly Gnepa finished third in both the prelims and the finals in the 60-meter hurdles, securing a top-three spot for the second meet in a row.
Another notable performance came from sophomore Gavin Banks, who won his heat in the 60-meter with a time of 7.04.
“He really stepped up to the competition and showed that he was ready to take on anyone,” Jon said of Banks.
Matthew Council took first place in the 400-meters with a personal-record time of 48.61. Alex Wilright took second in the event in a personal-best time of 48.72.
In field events, Igor Serbia had another impressive performance in the triple jump. He came in third, clearing 48-10.0. Ray Green, meanwhile, finished fourth with a distance of 47-11.75.
As the Aggies progress toward their spring season, coaches Jon and Deanne Vochatzer are hopeful that this past weekend is an indicator of what is to come.
“The team looked much more unified than I have seen them in previous years,” Jon said. “This past weekend you could really feel the heart beat of what was going on out there.”
MADELINE WEEKS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.