Shyanne Carrigan races in the 100-meter dash at the Mangrum Invitational. | Courtesy of CPP Athletics

CPP track and field competes at 45th annual Aztec Invitational

By Dylan Long, April 9, 2024

Both Cal Poly Pomona’s men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the Aztec Invitational from March 21 through March 23, where the men’s squad tied for ninth place at the event and the women’s team placed 18th for the weekend.

The 45th annual Aztec Invitational was a three-day event hosted on the campus of San Diego State. The event was filled with a surplus of elite track and field programs from across the country including Arizona State University, University of Oregon, University of Utah and University of Nevada, Reno.

“Competing against the best is why we are all associated with this program here at Cal Poly Pomona,” said head coach of the track and field rosters Chris Bradford. “We love to embrace any challenge that is thrown our way; it helps us figure out our true potential as a team.”

The invitational was a tough one for both Bronco track and field teams, as the gauntlet of teams led to a highly competitive weekend of events.

The men’s track and field team featured a lot of outstanding performances. Alessio Sommacal and Ryan Fields both earned top-five finishes in the men’s 110-meter hurdles. Fields posted a 14.07 time to slot in at third, with Sommacal coming in at 14.34, earning a fourth-place finish and the eighth-fastest mark of his career.

Despite the solid performance, Sommacal made it clear that he’s hungry for more opportunities to excel.

“I know that I have more to strive for,” Sommacal said. “Every meet we have is an opportunity to get better and to improve on our performances, I know I will be able to keep getting better as the season goes on.”

Justin Cardoza was able to notch another Bronco top-five finish with his performance in the men’s triple jump, hitting a mark of 13.45 meters, which is a personal record. His previous best was 13.59 meters at the 2023 Ben Brown Invitational.

Kailen Smith and Deandre Smith both scored seventh-place finishes with their performances in the triple jump and long jump ​​respectively.

The women’s track and field team also faced some tough competition as they battled for points across many different events.

Ayana Fields placed sixth in the women’s 400-meter dash, running at a time of 54.97. This was her first time running the event for the season, and she came out of the gates hot.

The women’s 4×100-meter relay team consisting of Ayana Fields, Jaelyn Thomas, Shyanne Carrigan and Yuna Queniat clocked in at 46.46. Their performance placed eighth in the event, giving the Broncos three points for the meet total.

Rounding out the Broncos’ top twenty finishes, Shona Christensen placed ninth in the shot put, Amelia Adamson placed 13th in the heptathlon and Tianna Jardstrom placed 18th in the women’s 400 hurdles.

In the end, while CPP placed ninth out of 18 competitors on the men’s side of the event and 18th out of 21 competitors on the women’s side, the Arizona State University Sun Devils taking first on both sides of the meet.

Bradford touched on how his team will respond from this weekend.

“I am excited to see where we go from here as a group and how we will continue to get better across the board,” Bradford said. “We are hitting the home stretch of our schedule coming up, we will be locked in and ready to go.”

Alongside the Aztec Invitational, the Broncos simultaneously competed in the Mangrum Invitational March 22. The following weekend, the women’s side notched three more provisional marks and three new entries to the CPP record book at the Mike Fanelli Track Classic in Hayward, California and the Stanford Invitational, while the men’s side secured five NCAA provisional marks and nine new personal records.

The teams will next compete at the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific University from Thursday, April 11 to Saturday, April 13.

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletics

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