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Friday, September 24, 2021

UC Davis enters homestretch at Stanford

Despite being unable to train their hardest, the Aggies are beginning to click at the right time.

“You can’t have [athletes] training in the wind, lighting, and storms,” said men’s coach Jon Vochatzer. “Right now, we’re playing catch-up because of the weather.”

Whether or not they are really behind remains uncertain because the Aggies are launching themselves into the UC Davis track program history books.

At the Payton Jordan Invitational, the track and field squads put together an impressive performance, culminating in 10ten personal records and five athletes making moves on the all-time lists.

Seniors Sirena Williams, Kaitlin Gregg ,and Anikia Jackson all stepped up and delivered. Jackson had a spectacular day, resulting in personal records for the 200, the long jump, and the 100 meter hurdles.

“This sets her up for a great opportunity in the [multi] meet that’s coming up,” said women’s coach Deanne Vochatzer. “It was a huge step forward and something she can really build on.”

While Jackson bested her previous record in the 100 meter hurdles, it was Williams who took the top spot finishing well ahead of second-place Gina Deckard.

Gregg finished with a time of 16:21.99 in the 5,000 – 19 seconds faster than her previous best set at the Sun Angel Track Classic at Arizona State. With her new time, she passes Patty Gray and now follows only current assistant coach Kim Conley on the all-time school list.

The men were no slouches either, as distance runners Jonathan Peterson and Jonathan Sees put the hammer down and improved on their personal bests.

Earlier this season at Stanford, Peterson set the school record in the 5,000. This time, he shaved six seconds off his best mark, finishing with a time of 14:03.25.

“The guy is just a dynamo,” Jon Vochatzer said. “Anytime you see an athlete get on the top-10ten list, it is a tribute to their ability.”

After a career performance in the Brutus Hamilton Invitational last weekend, Sees was No. 5 on UC Davis’ top-10ten list for the 1,500. Saturday, Sees vaulted himself to the No. 3 spot with a time of 3:47.70.

“[Our athletes] are realizing that they need to step up and they are starting to do so,” Deanne Vochatzer said. “We had 10ten personal bests this meet and that tells me that people are putting the pieces together at the right time.”

With two weeks to go until conference championships, this is great news.

MATT WANG can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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