EDINBURG, Texas – The Roadrunner men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up the 2017 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships with a solid day of competition. CSU Bakersfield earned one more silver medal while the ‘Runner men improved their best team points total at the WAC meet.
“Our guys did great,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, CSUB's Director of Track and Field. “There were many good performances this week. There is a lot to be proud of.”
CSUB's men's team reset its best points total at the WAC Outdoor Championships as the ‘Runners scored 70 points. Just three years into competing in the WAC, the previous best for Bakersfield was 45 points at the 2015 Championships. The ‘Runners had also never finished better than sixth of seven teams, but placed fifth this week in Texas.
Freshman Curt Threlkeld highlighted the day for the ‘Runners as the Bakersfield native earned the 800m silver medal on Saturday. Threlkeld crossed the line second with a time of 1:56.20. The graduate of North High School picked up the first All-WAC award of his young career with a First-Team performance.
Redshirt sophomore Gabe Gaeta earned Second Team honors in the 400m hurdles Saturday evening. A Frontier High graduate, Gaeta placed fourth in the finals and was just a couple tenths of a second shy of his personal best with a mark of 53.45.
Junior Alec Benavides posted the second-best javelin mark of his collegiate career to finish fifth on Saturday. Benavides' throw of 188-08 earned the Bakersfield native Second Team All-Conference and four points for his team. Freshman Nick Zandes also contributed two points with a seventh-place finish (157-03) in the javelin.
Zandes went on to earn Second Team honors in the pole vault with a sixth-place result. The Bakersfield native increased his PR by an inch and a half to 14-11.00 on Saturday.
In the 4x400m relay, Ar'reon Molina, a 100m and 200m specialist, held down the fort for the lead-off leg. Watson made up a chunk of time as he overcame two opponents on the second leg. Gaeta held pace with Seattle U as the teams jockeyed for fifth place, but Threlkeld's anchor leg sealed the deal as the ‘Runners earned fifth and a final four points of the meet for the ‘Runners. CSUB's time of 3:21.05 was just short of the school's best of the season (3:20.56).
Junior Micaiah Lugo increased her personal best in the hammer throw by almost four and a half feet with a mark of 165-07 on Saturday. The throw placed Lugo fifth overall, earning Second Team All-WAC, and moved the native of Oxnard, Calif. up one spot to seventh all-time in CSUB history.
Junior Susannah Vera posted a new high jump PR with a mark of 5-03.75. The leap moved the native of Indio, Calif. up to 15th in CSUB history as she placed eighth in Texas.
In the 100m hurdles finals, freshman Falon Wilson placed seventh to earn another pair of points for the ‘Runners. The Bakersfield native crossed the line in 14.83 seconds, the third-best performance of her debut season at CSUB.
In the 4x400m relay, Vera was right at the front of the pack on the lead-off leg. Ariana Mariscal handed off to Mariah LeSure, who made up lost ground before passing off to Marina Emhoff. The redshirt senior and 400m specialist gained ground, but was unable to overtake the next spot as the ‘Runners finished seventh (4:01.62) for two final points.
The ‘Runner women came up just two points shy of their previous team best after scoring 22 points this week. CSUB finished eighth, just four points behind seventh-place Chicago State.
The end of the WAC Outdoor Championships signals the finish of the season for most of the Roadrunners. The exception will likely be high jumpers Tim Van Horn and Joselito Flores, who have posted marks that may qualify the pair for the NCAA West Regional. Van Horn and Flores are both currently in the Top 36 in the region while the Top 48 men qualify for the meet. The West Regional will take place May 25-27 in Austin, Texas.