To most college students, spring break either includes wild partying or week-long hibernation. For the UC Davis outdoor track team, the break was not nearly so kind.
Instead of rest and relaxation, the Aggies participated in two team events during the break.
Mar. 20 – UC Davis Classic
While most students were finishing finals and leaving town, the outdoor track squad was hard at work.
Several hundred collegiate, club and unattached competitors competed in the first ever UC Davis Classic.
Some Aggies were mentally drained from studying and others were unavailable due to finals. Still, the Aggies put on a great show, winning seven events.
“The team was mentally beat,” said men’s coach Jon Vochatzer. “But we had a solid effort.”
Polly Gnepa won his third-straight high hurdles race of the season when he finished the 110 at 14.24.
With a distance of 54-3.25, Ed Orgon took first in the shot put and claimed his first win.
Russ Pfaff finished first in the 5,000-meter event with a time of 14:59.52. He was the only one in the event to break 15 minutes.
Lauren Wallace led the women by picking up a win in the 800. Her time of 2:13.87 was nearly four seconds faster than her personal best.
She combined with Melanise Chapman, Kiara Reed and Tonie Williams to finish first in the long relay.
Mar. 27-28 – Cal-Neva Championships
UC Davis’ only other full team competition took place in Los Angeles.
Overall, the men finished fifth behind UCLA and the women finished tenth behind Cal State Northridge.
Senior Alex Wilright took the 400-meter hurdle event for the third time in as many years. The win marked the fourth year in a row during which UC Davis has taken this event.
In the 110 high hurdles, Gnepa finished second (14.07) for the third consecutive time while Jazz Trice finished third (14.29).
The men capped off the competition with a 4×400 relay team of Wilright, Matt Council, Thomas Phillips and Steven Scarvelis that took third with a time of 3:12.54.
After setting a school record of 11.86 on Saturday, Chapman came in fifth with a time of 12.15 in the 100-meter final.
Sirena Williams advanced to the 100 hurdles final for the second straight year. She qualified with a time of 13.59, and did even better when it mattered with a time of 13.55, earning her a second-place finish as she was edged out at the finish line.
Both squads posted great performances despite having limited squads due to distance crews racing at the Stanford Invitational.
The Aggies will compete again this weekend as they travel to the Mondo Invitational hosted by Sacramento State.