The Aggies can walk with a little bounce in their step.
On Friday and Saturday, the track and field squads took to Berkeley, Calif. for the Brutus Hamilton Invitational and came back with some great scores and times.
“It was one of our better meets,” said men’s coach Jon Vochatzer. “It felt good to get into a rhythm.”
UC Davis set the pace on Friday, as Jonathan Sees ran a career best time in the 800, finishing at 1:51.82 in a prelim heat. He followed up with an even faster time, taking second in the final with a time of 1:51.44.
Lauren Radke took first place in the pole vault by nearly six inches, clearing 12-6.25. With her performance, she launches herself to the third spot on the all-time school list.
Teammate Kaitlin Gregg took 12th overall at 9:30.94 in the 3,000, and is now No. 2 on the all-time school list, mere seconds off the record set by Patti Gray in 1985.
“[Gregg] was the only collegiate runner in the field of professional runners,” women’s coach Deanne Vochatzer said. “It was another good performance.”
Lauren Wallace had yet another impressive performance in the 800, cutting two seconds off her personal best. She won first place with a time of 2:08.73 and is now second behind Rose Criss on the all-time list by less than two seconds.
“[Wallace] led wire to wire and had no help,” Deanne Vochatzer said. “There was no one to pace her. It was all on her own.”
The Aggies didn’t waste their solid start as they continued to put the hammer down.
Ashley Hearn continued the trend of posting career-highs, as she took third in the discus with a distance of 163-3. She shattered her previous record of 159-8 and now has the third spot in program history.
Sees continued to have a spectacular weekend as he finished the 1,500 in 3:48.41 on Saturday and propelled himself towards the fifth spot on the UC Davis lists.
“He was great in both the 1,500 and the 800,” Jon Vochatzer said. “He just had a stellar meet!”
Hurdler Polly Gnepa continued to show talent on the track, finishing the 110 high hurdles with a career-best time of 13.87.
“We were in a lot of events with a lot of professional runners,” Jon Vochatzer said. “It was great for him to [achieve a] personal record and go 13.87 and compete against the best.”
The women’s relay teams hit the ground running, too. The 4×100 squad composed of Stephanie Eckels, Melanise Chapman, Shanie Landen and Mina Mohamadi took third in the event and catapulted to No. 3 spot on the all-time list.
“They’re the third best time in school history,” Deanne Vochatzer said. “We needed that because May is going to be a big month. We need them to keep running faster.”
The 4×400 relay composed of Wallace, Landen, Eckels and Kiara Reed shaved four seconds off their previous season-best time to finish third at 3:44.45.
“We finished the event out with a great time in the 4×400,” Deanne Vochatzer said. “It felt good to take four seconds off.”
The Aggies will compete at Stanford for the Payton Jordan Invitational on Saturday.
MATT WANG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.