By Bri Wingfield
Track and field teams competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship this weekend, an end to the season for some Broncos and a stepping stone to the NCAA Division II Championships for others.
Despite this being the last meet of the season for some athletes, there was a heavy focus on the team aspect of this very individualized sport.
“Overall, I think we competed really well as a team,” head coach Wes Ashford said. “Especially on the guy’s side we had a lot of athletes step up and really perform well today.”
As a team, men’s track and field team came in third place out of seven teams and the women’s team came in fifth place out of 10 teams.
Together the women and men collected 13 top-five finishes on the field and 18 top-five finishes on the track.
Cal Poly Pomona had an especially impressive performance in the men’s 10K race with seniors Brandon Ferguson and Mark Huizar taking first and second place, respectively.
“With the 10K I was happy, me and my teammate [Ferguson] ran it in shoulder to shoulder,” Huizar said. “It was a pretty easy win for us.”
Ashford was very pleased with the result of the men’s 10K, saying, “That’s what we wanted, I didn’t care who won it as long as we got one and two.”
Huizar is only a second shy of the CPP 10K school record, and plans to beat that at nationals.
“My training has been geared towards this last meet,” Huizar said. “Hopefully, everything goes to plan and I will be on the podium two times at nationals.”
Huizar also competed in the men’s 5K race on Saturday, coming in third place with a time of 14 minutes 26 seconds.
Huizar beat the CPP school record just last month with a time of 14:03.96.
“I feel like I could’ve done a little bit better on the 5K,” Huizar said. “I didn’t have the steam in my legs that I normally would have since I raced the day before.”
“Overall, this has been the best track season of my life and my running career,” Huizar said.
Huizar hopes to leave everything on the track at nationals and plans to celebrate “a good finish and good career at Cal Poly.”
Senior Calene Morris also had an exceptional meet, coming in second place for the 5K run with a time of 16:45.89.
Morris was just shy of Hannah Dorman, a junior at Chico State who won the race at 16:45.65.
Morris not only finished on the podium, but clocked a new personal record with this time.
Morris will compete at nationals later this month.
“Overall, we have a really hardworking team and it was an honor competing with them,” said Morris.
Freshman Xjaedah Williams took first place in the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.18.
Sophomore Kyle Lawson came in third place for the men’s decathlon.
Lawson sits at 19th in the nation and could go to nationals if he jumps to the 16th position.
Also notable on the field, junior Paul Bentz came in first place in the men’s discus throw with a mark of 47.41 meters.
“We have a lot of young, talented athletes on the team and I think we are going to have a bright future. They have great promise,” said Ashford.
The final list of nationals qualifiers has not yet been released, but several CPP athletes are expected to participate.
The NCAA Division II Championship will take place in Bradenton, Florida beginning May 25.
David Wilson / The Poly Post
Senior Brandon Ferguson placed first in men’s 10,000-meter with a time of 30:37.07
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