Over 700 athletes met last weekend at the Aggie Open as UC Davis hosted its first event of the outdoor track season.
The wind played a factor but the Aggies came out on top
“Playing in the conditions we had today is always a concern,” said coach Deanne Vochatzer. “They got out and competed hard.”
UC Davis sophomore Lauren Wallace picked up the only women’s individual event, capturing first in the 800 meters at 2:16.00.
In addition, teammates Stephanie Eckels, Melanise Chapman, Sirena Williams and Mina Mohamadi took the 4×100 relay. The team posted a time of 47.36, just faster than Sacramento City College.
“It was a good day,” Vochatzer said. “It was a great day to prepare for the finals.”
It was a great day for the men, too.
Senior Alex Wilright led a one-through-four sweep of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.90. Teammate Polly Gnepa finished the 110-meter hurdle in 13.93, breaking his previous record of 13.99.
Jonathan Sees took the men’s 800 with a time of 1:54.68 while Jonathan Peterson finished first in the 1,500 by posting a time of 3:53.34.
“Peterson and Sees had breakouts,” said coach Jon Vochatzer. “They did really well, and looked really strong.”
Ethan Ostrom and Michael Peterson took the top two stops in the men’s pole vault, clearing 4.72 meters.
“Ostrom and Peterson had some great jumps,” Jon Vochatzer said. “They had a great day in the pole vault.”
Due to the fact that the Aggie Open allowed any entrant, several redshirted students, coaches and alumni opted to compete as unattached entries.
Ugo Eke ran the 400 in 55.59, narrowly edging out her teammates. Thrower Chid Onyewuenyi, won the shot put and hammer events with distances of 14.25 meters and 56.13 meters, respectively. Kim Conley, the current assistant cross country coach, ran the table in the 1,500 with a time of 4:24.20. Alumnus Jeff Billing, who set the record in the long jump in 2003, again leapt out to first in the in the long jump (7.46m) then took first in the 100 with a time of 10.70.
Other than showing that past and present Aggies can still compete, the results of the Aggie Open revealed that the UC Davis track squads can hang with the best. The Aggies will need to bring their A game, as next week they will host the UC Davis Classic.
“Next week will hold a similar type of meet, with a lot of folks,” Jon Vochatzer said. “I expect exactly what we did today. Step up and get the job done well.”
MATT WANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.