The Broncos track and field team split up the past weekend to compete at both the Chico State Multi-Event Classic and the Cal State L.A. Invitational.

On Thursday, junior Kyle Lawson came out with a win at the 34th Annual Chico State Multi-Event Classic. As the first-day leader, Lawson took top decathlon “A” group honors with a National Collegiate Athletic Association provisional mark of 6,834 points.

“Kyle did great. He came out with around a 300-point personal record. He redshirted last year, so he is still working towards coming back and showing what he can do for a long time now,” head coach Chris Bradford said. “We think he can be one of the best decathletes in the nation and he showed that with his performance and is well on his way towards doing that.”

At Chico, Lawson scored his personal best of his career and also the fifth-best in CPP track and field history.

“That is a really good mark for him to hit. The real thing with Kyle is that he has so much more,” coach Bradford said. “I think he is going to work his way up that list. Being a junior now, he’ll have a couple more opportunities this year and next year. We are really excited to see if he will break a school record before walking out of here.”

Lawson also recorded five other personal bests in Chico, including the 100-meter dash (11.30 seconds), long jump (6.50 m), shot put (12.35 m), high jump (1.89 m) and discus (35.44 m).

“It was a really cool experience. This is the first time that I have got to compete at that specific event at Chico this early,” Lawson said. “We were able to go up there and fly out there. It was a cool experience to have the ability to go out and do it early.”

Kyle Lawson won the 110-meter hurdle portion of the men’s decathlon with a time of 15.42 seconds. (Courtesy of Skip Reager)

Sophomore Gabriel Zapata also competed in Chico and placed fifth with a personal best score of 5,538 points. He also earned four other personal records in the 100-meter dash, long jump, pole vault and the 1500-meter run.

“He’s just a sophomore and the decathlon takes a lot of work and time,” Bradford said. “He was a conference scorer for us last year and for him to continue to improve is really exciting. He’s got a lot more on the table as well, and this was a great opener for him.”

At Cal State L.A., the Broncos placed high in multiple events at Saturday’s meet.

In the women’s 400 relay, the Broncos earned first place with a time of 47.41 seconds. The winning team consisted of sophomore Zaria Francis, sophomore Ryanne Napoleon, junior Nia Vance and freshman Ayana Fields.

Three Broncos from the winning 4×1 relay also took all top spots in the women’s 100-meter dash. Francis ran for 12.34 seconds and placed first. Fields placed second with a time of 12.58. Napoleon finished third with a time of 12.62.

“We had a lot of really good things happen. We won three events,” Bradford said. “Zaria Francis made her Cal Poly debut and was part of the 4×1 that won the meet and she also won the open 100. We had one, two, three in the women’s 100 so that was exciting to see.”

The men’s 400-meter relay A team finished second place with a time of 42.06 seconds and the B team placed fifth with a time of 45.05.

CPP raced well in the men’s 400-meter dash with sophomore Kaelin Moore placing fifth out of 36 runners with a time of 48.58 seconds, which is his lifetime best. Senior Chris Uzoma placed 11th with a time of 50.35. Fellow senior Keeon Thomas placed 15th with a time of 51.52. Freshman Kyle Johnston placed 17th with a time of 51.69. Luke Doukakis, sophomore, placed 20th with a time of 52.66.

His first time running this race in college, freshman Ryan Fields placed first in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.38 seconds.

The Broncos took second place in both men’s and women’s hammer throw. Aaron Guerra-Garcia, junior, threw 48.82 meters on his third attempt. Senior Alyssa Carrillo threw 41.34 meters in her first attempt.

Other highlights included junior Ben Anderson placing second in the men’s triple jump and freshman Abbigail Sharma placing fourth.

“What we are doing is setting us up well for the rest of the season and the important meets which are the conference championships and NCAA championships,” Bradford said. “That is our goal and all these meets are the building blocks towards that and we are putting the pieces together early.”

The Broncos’ next meet is the Ben Brown Invitational at Cal State Fullerton on March 8 and 9.

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