EDINBURG, Texas – The Roadrunner track and field teams continued the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships on Thursday as freshman Nick Zandes brought home a silver medal for CSU Bakersfield in the decathlon.
Zandes opened the second day of competition with a bang, winning the 110m hurdles with a huge personal record. The freshman took 829 points, his best total of any event, with a time of 15.17 seconds. Zandes lowered his previous best by six tenths of a second on Thursday and gained valuable ground on the top group.
In the discus, Zandes came up just over four feet short of his collegiate PR with a mark of 99-11. The throw landed the Bakersfield sixth in the event and Zandes sat in fifth place after the seventh event.
The graduate of Stockdale High School finished second in the pole vault with a height of 14-09.00. Zandes' mark missed his personal best, which is sixth-best in CSUB history, by a half inch. He earned 760 points to climb the ladder again.
Zandes went on to place second again, this time in the javelin throw. He posted a best throw of 158-08 to score 565 more points.
In the final event of the decathlon, Bakersfield's freshman dominated the 1500m race to the tune of an 11-second victory. Zandes crossed the line first in a time of 4:45.21, scoring 648 points and vaulting into second place for the WAC decathlon silver medal.
Zandes' total score of 6,638 points increased his previous best by 236 points and the former Mustang is now 120 points behind second all-time in CSUB history (Josh Canales, 6,758, 2001). The freshman's surge in the final three events earned Zandes First Team All-WAC honors as he came up a mere 29 points shy of earning the WAC title.
In the final event of the day, junior Angel Valdez competed in the 10,000m race and came up just four seconds short of earning All-WAC honors. The native of Bakersfield ran a time of 39:04.23 to finish seventh overall. Freshman Alejandra Frausto placed 13th in her first 10k at 43:38.33. On the men's side, Alex Raya ran his first collegiate 10k and finished 10th with a time of 36:51.63.
The rest of the Roadrunners will get to compete at the WAC Outdoor Championships starting Friday, May 12. The field events will kick off the day at 9 a.m. (PT) while the runners will get going at 3:30 p.m.