NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s track and field teams competed at the Northridge Invitational hosted by CSUN on Saturday as the Roadrunners saw a school record fall while 10 CSUB student-athletes moved up the depth chart in their events.
“This was a fantastic meet for us,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, Director of Track and Field at CSUB. “Nick Zandes kicked it off with his second-place decathlon finish and the rest of the team was inspired to keep it rolling.”
Freshman Julianne Finch had the highlight of an altogether outstanding meet for the ‘Runners when the native of Bakersfield broke the CSUB record in the pole vault. Finch’s height of 12-05.50 reset the 15-year-old record set by Allyson Crosby in 2002 and gave Bakersfield’s freshman the top mark in the Western Athletic Conference so far this season.
Continuing the theme of climbing the CSUB Top 20 all-time lists were freshman Paradise Pelzer and senior Tori Blackmon. The pair finished with the eighth and ninth best times in CSUB history in the 3000m steeplechase, respectively. Pelzer, who graduated from North High School, finished third in Northridge with a time of 12:29.26 while Blackmon, a former Stockdale Mustang, was one spot back at 12:34.55.
Junior Micaiah Lugo placed second in the hammer throw with a new PR of 125-10. The mark helped the native of Oxnard, Calif. move to 12th all-time for CSUB. Despite being sick on Saturday, redshirt senior Marina Emhoff ran her best outdoor season-opening 400m race with a time of 57.87 to finish fourth.
Rounding out the women’s top performers was another freshman, Falon Wilson. The Bakersfield native placed third in the 100m dash with a time of 12.25 seconds on Saturday. Wilson’s mark moved her up to 15th all-time on the CSUB depth chart.
The men’s competition was highlighted by a pair of high jumpers: Joselito Flores and Tim Van Horn. The duo finished third and fourth, respectively, while posting the same mark of 6-11.00. Flores raised his previous PR by an inch and a half while Van Horn came up nearly five inches. The pair are now tied for seventh all-time in CSUB history, have the best mark in the WAC this year, and would have qualified for NCAA Regionals a year ago at this height.
Junior Alec Benavides took a victory in the javelin with a best throw of 185-02. The Bakersfield native’s mark was good enough for 14th all-time for CSUB while he also set a PR in the 110m hurdles (15.26). Sophomore Gabe Gaeta also rose in the depths charts as his 400m hurdles time of 54.26 was good enough for third on Saturday and 15th all-time for the ‘Runners.
Freshman and Bakersfield native Curt Threlkeld won the 800m race on Saturday with a time of 1:53.26. The graduate of North High School’s mark was good enough for 11th on the CSUB depth chart and Threlkeld went on to close the meet with a come-from-behind win on the anchor leg of the 4x400m relay team (2:20.56).
Finishing off the top performers of the meet for CSUB’s men was junior Tristan Watson. The former Stockdale Mustang earned a fourth-place finish in the 110m hurdles with a season-best time of 14.93.
Full results form Saturday's meet were not made available, but can be found at TFRRS.org.
Next week, the Roadrunners will return to the track and field for the Cal Poly ShareSLO Invitational, Mar. 24-25. The two-day meet will take place in San Luis Obispo, Calif.