Event: Big West Conference Championships</b>Where: Anteater Stadium – Irvine, Calif.</b>When: Friday and Saturday, All Day</b>Who to watch: Though she is only a freshman, Alycia Cridebring has already made it to the top.
The Pleasant Hill, Calif. native is ranked No. 1 in the 1500-meter race for UC Davis. Her performance in that event promises to bring points to the Aggies this weekend at the Big West Championships.
“To be ranked at the top as a freshman is pretty dang good,” said interim director Byron Talley.
Did you know? The Aggies already have experience competing at UC Irvine’s facility.
UC Davis sent a partial squad to the Anteater Stadium the first weekend of May to compete at the Steve Scott Invitational.
Preview: After a season of breaking school records and climbing up the national rankings, the UC Davis track team is ready to fight for the Big West Conference title this weekend.
“I know we can win,” Talley said. “There are 20 events in this meet and we have people at the top in 15 or 16 of [all of] those.”
One of the events Talley predicts the Aggies will do well in is the hammer and shot put.
Chidinma Onyewueni is ranked at the top in both of those events on the women’s side. With top scores in those events, the Aggies will hopefully reel in a lot of team points.
Another field event Talley believes the Aggies can carry is the pole vault.
“All of our pole vaulters can jump around 17 feet,” Talley said. “Who will win that event comes down to who has the cleanest jump that day. They are all very good, and we have the potential to do very well.”
Talley also predicts all the races on the track will be close. However, he expects to see great races in several events.
In the 200-meter sprint, Talley is counting on sophomore Melanise Chapman. The Lancaster, Calif. native has history of breaking and tying school records for the Aggies.
Talley also predicts that the Aggies will dominate in the 1500- and 800-meter races and the 400-meter hurdles.
Senior duo Thomas Phillips and Alex Wilright have been a constant threat in the Big West region for their entire collegiate careers. This weekend will be no exception.
Talley knows all the teams in the conference have talent, but he believes UC Davis has something special when it comes down to the final count.
“We’re talking about a 100th of a second in a race, and about inches after 190 feet,” Talley said. “When we’re coming down the home stretch shoulder to shoulder, it’s going to come down to who is ready to gut it out. If we have a lot of those, we should do very well.”
– Caleigh Guoynes