Track and field at UC Davis is now underway. The season officially started on Jan. 12 in Davis with the John Pappa Blue-Gold Intrasquad meet. The team then traveled to the University of Nevada, Reno to compete in the pole vault.
The director of track and field and cross country, Drew Wartenburg, thought the pole vaulters performed well in Reno, but there was room for improvement.
“It wasn’t our best result that we were hoping for, but it was our opening meet,” Wartenburg said. “Each time out, we’ll look to tweak things and improve and so as we go up to University of Washington this Friday and Saturday, we will look to improve on the foundation that we started last weekend in Reno.”
The team will travel to University of Washington for the UW Invitational two-day meet from Jan. 25 to 26. Athletes will compete in one of the premier indoor track facilities in the NCAA, the Dempsey.
Drew Wartenburg is excited to get things started. He has spent the past four-plus years in Davis coaching. He previously coached at Oregon State, learning under coach Kelly Sullivan.
There are big expectations this year, since the UC Davis women won the 2011 track and field championship for their first ever title in the Big West Conference.
“One of our team captains, Emily Bush, is going to be someone to watch throughout the winter and in the spring. For our spring group, Melonise Chapman and Ashley Marshall are going to be two that we look to for help. On the distance side, Lauren Wallace is our best female distance runner. She runs the 800,” Wartenburg said.
He also mentioned distance runners Alycia Cridebring, Sarah Sumpter, Katie Fry, and long jumper Katie Barber to have good performances this year.
Under Wartenburg’s tenure, several athletes have been nationally recognized for their accomplishments. Kim Conley and Kaitlin Gregg qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Championships in 2008. Conley recently went on to compete against the best athletes in the world at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She ran a 15:14.48 in the 5,000m run.
On Feb. 2, UC Davis will host an All-Comer’s meet held at Woody Wilson Track. A variety of events will take place including, 4x200m relay, mile, 55m high hurdles, 400m and 550m, 4x800m relay and 4x400m relay for the track portion. The field events include pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put and discus.
The admission fee for competing athletes will be $5 and they will be able to enter in an unlimited amount of events. Tickets will be $5 for spectators and coaches and $3 for children who are 12 years of age and younger. Athletes will be able to register on the day of the event beginning at 8:45 a.m.
LUKE BAE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.