The UC Davis Track and Field team competed over the weekend on Friday and Saturday at the University of Washington Invitational. The event is the first official meet of the season and included some of the best collegiate and professional athletes in the country. UC Davis had 14 competitors in events and performed solidly overall as a unit.
Dempsey Indoor is one of the premier indoor tracks in the NCAA and it seems as if the athletes enjoy performing there. With this event being the first chance to compete in a national setting, the Aggies made the most of their opportunities.
Senior Melanise Chapman set the school record in the 200-meter dash, breaking her own previous record of 24.93. She finished first in her heat and sixth overall with a mark of 24.80 seconds. Sophomore Cekarri Nixon finished second in their heat with a time of 25.07 seconds to round out a solid 1-2 punch for the Aggies in the race.
Senior Sarah Sumpter won the 5,000-meter with a school record of 16:28.21, beating Kaitlin Gregg’s previous record of 16:51.27 set in 2009.
On Saturday, sophomore Ashley Marshall finished fifth overall in the 60-meter dash with another school record of 7.51 seconds. Entering the race, Marshall held the second fastest 60-meter time in the school’s history, running a 7.74.
In the 800-meter, junior Shanie Landen placed fourth (2:10.30) and is now second all time in the school record books trailing senior teammate Lauren Wallace who ran a 2:07.48 last season. Coach Drew Wartenburg mentioned Wallace as one of the best female distance runners for the Aggies.
Junior Alycia Cridebring finished 12th (9:26.13) in the 3,000-meter and is also second in the program’s history.
Nixon finished fourth (56.27) in the 400-meter and now holds the third fastest time in school history in the event.
Under Wartenburg, the team has improved greatly and it is evident by all the school records having been broken. Coming into the season without any Aggies competing for the NCAA Division I championships, they want to make a lot of noise this season to accomplish such a feat. Hopefully, the team can use this successful weekend to build off of and become even more of a competitive force in the future.
The UC Davis Track and Field team will return to the University of Washington again for the Husky Invitational on Feb. 8 to 9. An all-comers meet hosted by UC Davis will take place on Saturday at Woody Wilson Track with a variety of events scheduled.
LUKE BAE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.