LOS ANGELES – Several more personal bests fell for the CSU Bakersfield track and field teams on Thursday as the Roadrunners tackled the Cal State LA Twilight Open. Freshmen Falon Wilson and Nick Zandes highlighted the day of action for the 'Runners, both climbing the CSUB Top 20 all-time lists in their respective events.
“It was another good day for us,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, Director of Track and Field for the ‘Runners. “We had big wins from Gabe and Alec. Falon got a PR in the long jump and 100. Nick PR’d in the pole vault and Mariah had two PRs today. A couple of our top performers didn’t run today, but we hope to have them back soon.”
Wilson, a Bakersfield native, placed fifth in the long jump at the CSLA Twilight Open. In just her second collegiate attempt at the event, the freshman raised her previous best by five inches to 18-08.25. The mark ranks Wilson fifth in the WAC this year and 14th in CSUB’s history. The freshman also finished eighth of 48 women in the 100m dash, improving her personal best by 0.04 (12.21) and moving to 10th all-time for the ‘Runners.
Another freshman, Mariah LeSure, lowered her personal bests in both the 100m (12.40) and 200m (12.50) dashes on Thursday. Fellow freshman Paradise Pelzer led the ‘Runners in the 1500m, placing sixth with a time of 5:01.73. Sonia Holguin finished fifth for the ‘Runners, but lowered her PR by 11 seconds to 5:15.93.
Julianne Finch placed fifth of 14 in the pole vault with her second-best mark of the season, a height of 11-07.75. The freshman from Bakersfield is still the WAC leader in the event and is searching for her own CSUB record each week.
In her first collegiate attempt at the event, Susannah Vera finished 13th in the 400m hurdles. The junior’s time of 68.71 was just over a second outside of CSUB’s Top 20 list in the event. The native of Indio, Calif. also tied her season-best in the high jump, placing fourth with a leap of 5-02.50.
Freshman Nick Zandes raised his personal best in the pole vault by just over a foot on Thursday, reaching a top height of 14-09.50. The mark moved the native of Bakersfield up to sixth all-time for CSUB and seventh in the WAC this year. Zandes now ranks in the Top 20 of the NCAA West region in the pole vault. The Stockdale High School also lowered his PR in the 200m dash to 23.17 while redshirt junior Dayan Oduma led the ‘Runner sprinters with a personal best of 22.87.
Redshirt sophomore Alec Benavides earned his second win of the season in the javelin. The fellow SHS Mustang raised his PR by six feet (191-01), posting the fourth-best distance in the WAC this year and the 11th-best all-time for CSUB.
Gabe Gaeta won the 400m hurdles with a new personal best time of 53.78. The mark keeps the redshirt sophomore 14th all-time in CSUB history and moves Gaeta to third in the WAC this season. He also tied his 100m dash PR (11.31) to lead the ‘Runner sprinters on Thursday.
Redshirt senior Emmett Wirtz posted a new personal best in the shot put with a mark of 45-05.25. The throw improved Wirtz’s previous best mark by almost eight inches. Wirtz was 10th on Thursday and the Ridgecrest, Calif. native moved into the WAC Top 10 for this season. Sophomore Luis Mendez improved his season-best by three inches to 44-04.50 to come in one spot behind his teammate in the shot put.
The Roadrunner men’s trio of Justin McKinley, Joselito Flores, and Tim Van Horn will all return to action on Friday at the highly-competitive Mt. SAC Relays. Full results from Thursday's meet will be linked in this release when made available.