BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Anchored by a strong throwing unit, the CSU Bakersfield men’s and women’s track and field teams are headed to Humble, Texas to compete in the Great West Conference Championships Friday through Sunday. The meet is being hosted by Houston Baptist at Turner Stadium.
Leading the way for the ‘Runners Is defending GWC hammer champion Thomas Judge (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif., Garces HS). Judge won the event with a toss of 184-02, which set a new GWC record. This season, he’s set a new personal-best mark of 194-05, which is tops in the GWC this season.
Judge will be joined in the hammer event by Gabe Holland (Anchorage, Alaska, Univ. of Alaska) and sophomore thrower Bryan Wilmert (Bakersfield, Calif., Bakersfield HS). Holland is ranked No. 3 in the hammer (179-01) in the GWC. He will also be competing in the discus, where he is ranked No. 2 (159-08). Wilmert is ranked No. 4 in the hammer (171-04) and will also compete in the shot put, where he is ranked No. 4 (47-08.5). Karnell Grimes (R-So., Rosamond, Calif., Rosamond HS) is also ranked No. 4 in the javelin (169-06).
“We will be lead by a strong contingent of throwers who are all in scoring position,” said CSUB Director of Track and Field Marcia Mansur-Wentworth.
On the track, the men will look to distance runner Derek Stotler (So., Vista, Calif., Rancho Buena Vista HS) who is ranked No. 3 in the steeplechase and will also be competing in the 5,000-meter. CSUB will also be looking for good performances from sprinters Justus Mora (Jr., Sparks, Nev., Spanish Springs) (100 and 200) and Matt Turkington (200 and 400), who will also both be running in CSUB’s relays.
In 2012, the CSUB squads competed in their first GWC Championship and the men placed fifth, while the women placed six out of eight teams. The 2013 season will be the Roadrunners’ last in the conference as they are headed to the Western Athletic Conference in 2014.
The women’s will be led by sophomore Alyssa Page (Santa Rosa, Calif., Montgomery HS), who burst on to the scene with an exciting performance at the GWC Championships last year as a freshman when she placed third in the 200 and fifth in the 400. Page is currently ranked No. 3 in the 400 and No. 4 in the 200. She will anchor both ‘Runner relays as well. Page is coming off an impressive effort at the Fresno State Bulldog Invitational on April 27 when she won the 400 (58.24 seconds) and took third in the 200 (24.63).
“Alyssa showed Saturday she has recovered from her severely-bruised ankle that kept her out of several meets midseason this spring,” Mansur-Wentworth said.
The ‘Runner women will also look for good things from sprinter Taevionna Wilson (So., Antioch, Calif., Antioch HS), freshmen jumper Jamara Scott (Bakersfield, Calif., Golden Valley HS), who will also compete in hurdlers) and Audrena Harlan (Antioch, Calif., Dozier-Libbey Medical HS), hurdler and sprinter Sara Nielson (Sr., La Quinta, Calif., Riverside CC) and javelin throwers Courtney Parker (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif., South HS) and freshman Gabrielle Giuliano (Bakersfield, Calif., Stockdale HS)
“Taevionna Wilson is competing well despite lower leg pain that has plagued her all season and is in scoring position in the 200m/400m dashes and will run both relays,” Mansur-Wentworth said. “Jamara Scott has been a reliable competitor in the long jump all season and shows promise in the 100 hurdles. Courtney Parker and Gabby Giuliano are both in scoring position in the javelin, where they have shown great improvements all spring.”
The GWC Championship meet, complete with history of the meet, records, this year’s schedule and breakdowns of each team, is attached as a PDF on this page.
The meet will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday with the decathlon and heptathlon. Saturday’s events will begin at noon and will start up again at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The awards presentation is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Sunday.