Turner makes grade at Occidental

By Eric Carlstrom

With one meet remaining before the Broncos host the NCAA
Division II National Championships at Mount San Antonio College,
the track and field teams sent a select squad to the Occidental
Relays last week in hopes of getting more athletes to set
provisional qualifying marks.

One Bronco did just that and more by setting a school record
Saturday.

Junior Tiffany Turner shattered her best time in the 3,000-meter
steeplechase and set a school mark in the event. She finished in
fourth place with a time of 11:08.87, more than 15 seconds faster
than her 11:24.22 run at the CCAA Championships.

“She’s a wonderful talent and very coachable,” head coach Troy
Johnson said. “She’s worked well, and there’s no saying how much
better she can get.”

Turner wasn’t the only Cal Poly athlete to have success at the
meet.

Senior Joaquin Ortiz made his mark on the men’s side during the
meet, running a 1:52.27 in the 800-meter run, an event he began the
season running at 1:57. The time earned him a 16th place finish in
the event, but more importantly, it is a NCAA Division II
provisional qualifying mark.

“He’s trained well all year and really wants to get everything
out of his senior year,” head coach Troy Johnson said. “I knew he
could run that fast. He’s a very talented athlete. To go from 1:57
to 1:52 in a single season is a huge accomplishment.”

On the women’s side, senior Adrienne Schumm bested her previous
provisional qualifying mark in the 10,000-meter run.

Schumm won the event at last week’s California Collegiate
Athletic Association Championships with a time of 37:26.42 but
improved her time by more than a minute at Occidental, finishing
the event in 36:23.54.

“Adrienne’s been determined all year and really zoned in on the
10K and broke through,” Johnson said. “It’s her senior year, and
she knows this is it.”

In the pole vault, sophomore David Rhodes improved upon his best
vault by nearly six inches, finishing in a five-way tie for sixth
place with a jump of 15 feet, 3.75 inches. But that mark is short
of a qualifying mark by 5.25 inches.

Sophomore Jonathan Williams ran a last tune-up race in the
100-meter dash before Nationals. However, he did not improve his
time, finishing in sixth place with a time of 10.69 seconds.Senior
Akilah Mayfield looked to improve her time in the 400-meter dash
but fell just short. She finished 12th in the event with a time of
59.94 seconds.

Junior Jasmine Winn was also a bit short in her bid to improve
her 100-meter dash time. Winn completed the run in 12.34 seconds,
0.11 seconds behind her best time this year and 0.34 seconds short
of a NCAA provisional qualifying mark. She finished seventh in the
event.

Winn came up short in the 200-meter dash as well. Her best time
this year is her provisional qualifying mark of 24.77 seconds set
at the CCAA Championships. At Occidental, she finished ninth with a
time of 25.2 seconds.

Senior Sheena Wildridge had a couple of solid races in what will
be her final meet as a Bronco. She finished 10th in the 100-meter
dash with a time of 12.51 seconds and finished tied for ninth in
the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.06 seconds.

Sophomore Ileana Tejada sought to improve her provisional
qualifying mark in the hammer throw, but her toss of 147 feet, 5
inches was too short to get her out of the preliminary round.The
Broncos are now waiting until later today to hear which provisional
qualifiers will compete in Nationals May 22-24 at Mt. SAC’s Hilmer
Lodge Stadium.

“I’m very proud of our athletes, but they all know that there’s
still work to be done at Nationals,” Johnson said.

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