The UC Davis men’s and women’s Track and Field teams will take a road trip to UC Riverside to continue the Big West Championship tournament after multi-events competed on May 9 and 10. The Aggies hope to make their mark in Big West history, and emphasize UC Davis’ athletic prowess.
The UC Davis women’s track and field team is hungry to continue their success as they have won the last three Big West Championships with over 160 points each year. The last two years, the team has beaten out the second place opponent by over 10 points.
Senior sprinter Ashley Marshall is a big name to look out for as she has made a storied history in the Big West tournament and has solidified her name as a dangerous competitor. For the last two years, Marshall has won the 100 and 200 meter races while being named the Big West Track Athlete of the Year. She has cemented her name into Big West history as she tied the record for the 100 meter race with an 11.34 time. She is also a major part of UC Davis athletic history as she holds several school records in the 100 meter and 200 meter among others.
Marshall is excited for the tournament and is focusing on adding as many points for her team as possible. Despite the obvious pressures and high expectations, she seems to have no fear of the opposition. “There’s definitely pressure but it’s more like come and get me,” Marshall stated confidently about expectations due to her past success. “We’re really pumped up and we’re ready to bring home another title. We know we can do it because we’ve done it 3 times before.”
The team’s emotions appear to be high as their relationship with each other exhibits dominance. “We are really close,” stated Marshall. “We are pretty much a family so we don’t want to let each other down. Every time I go out there to compete, I’m competing for my family.” This obvious bond among the teammates will be crucial to obtaining success in this weekend’s long tournament.
From past results, it appears that the UC Davis women’s track and field team has a high chance of taking home the title this upcoming weekend.
The men’s track and field team is eager to match the women and etch their names into the record books. With their best finishes being second place standings in 2009 and 2011, the men’s track and field team have not had the same success as the women.
Aggies such as senior sprinter Marcus Johnson hope to make an impact and lead the team to a good outing. “Our mentality is very simple, do whatever it takes,” commented Johnson. “We all know that this meet is about scoring points. Whether that comes in the form of a first place or just making sure you get one point in an event. Our mentality is to bring each other up and remember that this meet is about the team over individuals. The biggest accomplishment we can achieve is bringing home a conference title for each respective team.”
Last year the men’s team came in third place, losing out to Cal Poly and Long Beach State. Nonetheless, they hope to make a significant statement when they journey to Southern Calif. this week.
“We sat down as an entire team this week discussed the mindset going on,” stated Johnson. “We all know that no matter where you’re seeded or what the odds may look like, if you’re in the final you can win. Period. At this point perception is reality, if we see ourselves as champions, we are champions.” Despite coming in as underdogs, Johnson and the rest of the athletes are ready to make an impact this weekend.
Johnson holds the top five UC Davis finishes in the 100 meter this year while junior Jason Chandler has topped the team in the 400 meter hurdles and the 200 meter sprint.
The Big West Track and Field Championships finish on May 16 and 17 in Riverside.