Redlands Invitational Inspires Impressive Marks for Bulldog Track & Field

Maliq Champion clears the high jump
Photo credit: Halie West

The University of Redlands track & field teams hosted the annual Redlands Invitational on Ashel Cunningham Track on Friday evening with the largest number of competitors in the event's history.  Among the many highlights, the Bulldogs recorded some of the best marks of the season with solid results throughout the meet.

For the women, senior Vanessa Blanchard (Palmdale, CA) won the High Jump with a height of 5' 3 ¾", which places her atop the NCAA Division III marks for the season.  Senior Reyna Ta'amu (Lakewood, CA) uncorked the nation's best mark in the Shot Put at 43' ½" to finish second at the meet.

In addition, senior Mandy Widen (Vail, AZ) recorded a third-place height in the Pole Vault at 11' 3 ¾", while junior Kara Romani (Sacramento, CA) reached a distance of 17' 3 ¼" in the Long Jump for the seventh-best mark of the season in Division III.  Finally, sophomore Katie Gonzalez (San Gabriel, CA) unleashed a heave of 141' 10" in the Hammer Throw, which lands her ninth in the nation.

On the track, sophomore Maria Ramirez (Orange, CA) won the 3000 Meters with a time of 10:36.72 for Redlands' top performance of the season in this event.  Sophomore Chyenne Kimble (Big Bear Lake, CA) also impressed in the 100 Hurdles with her third-place time of 14.71, which ranks second in the nation for this season.  Sophomore Jessica Fields (Las Vegas, NV) quickly followed in fourth place by crossing the finish line with the third-fastest time of the season at 14.73. 

Kimble fired off a quality time in the 100 as well, as she took seventh in 12.45 seconds but now ranks sixth in Division III.  Senior Justine Keller (Portland, OR) completed the 800 Meters in 2:19.65 for the Bulldogs' best of the season, which placed her second at the meet and fifth in the nation.

First-year Hannah Albrecht (Cottage Grove, OR) ran a 26.05 in the 200 Meters for a top-10 mark among Division III before contributing to the 4x100 Relay that posted a time of 48.89 to rank second this season.  She was joined by senior Sophie Brooks (Seattle, WA), Kimble, and first-year Andrea Lyon to create this formidable foursome.

For the men, sophomore Maliq Champion (Beaumont, CA) took first place in the High Jump with a stellar height of 6' 2 ¾" to now rank second in the nation. 

Junior Joseph Esparza (Arcata, CA) also won the 5000 Meters with an impressive time of 15:36.16, while first-year Tucker Cargile (Denver, CO) put together an outstanding 1500 race with a third-place time of 3:59.76, which lands him sixth among NCAA Division III.

Furthermore, first-year MJ Wheeler (St. Louis, MO) fired off a time of 10.93 in the 100 Meters to rank fourth in the country. He contributed to the 4x100 Relay that fired off a time of 42.26 for the second-fastest time in the nation so far.  Junior Luke Bohlinger (Mercer Island, WA), junior Nick Burchett (Gold River, CA), and first-year Anthony Razo (Pomona, CA) completed this speedy quartet.

Select members of the Redlands track & field teams look forward to competing in the UCR Invitational Multi-Events on Thursday, March 22, and Friday, March 23.