During the first day of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Track & Field Championships, the University of Redlands provided quality marks, resulting in the men and women each sitting third through six scored events. The Bulldogs produced 11 top-eight finishes on Saturday while advancing 13 women and 14 men to Sunday's finals.
With the highest finish of the day, sophomore MJ Wheeler (St. Louis, MO) captured the Long Jump title with a gold-medal leap of 22' 10" on his second-to-last attempt. Beyond the title, he secures his first All-SCIAC award. In addition, sophomore Mason Ferrer (Rancho Mirage, CA) added a career-best mark of 21' 8 ¼" for seventh place in the same event.
While earning key points for the Bulldogs, senior Joseph Esparza (Arcata, CA) secured a sixth-place time of 9:29.46 in the 3000 Steeplechase, as senior Matthew Hayashi (Hacienda Heights, CA) contributed to the team's cause with his sixth-place mark of 138' 8" in the Hammer Throw. Furthermore, graduate student Nate Battisti (Seattle, WA) wrapped up a fruitful opening day with a seventh-place performance in the Javelin Throw, as he uncorked a heave of 154' 6" on his final throw for his best conference finish.
Senior Luke Bohlinger (Mercer Island, WA) began his title defenses with speedy first-place performances in the preliminaries of the 100 Meters (10.67) and 200 Meters (21.57). Sophomores Cooper Malerstein (Huntington Beach, CA) and Domanick Murray (Palm Springs, CA) will join him in the finals of the 100 with qualifying times of 10.84 and 11.14, respectively. In the 200, Murray clocked a 22.16 and Malerstein finished in 22.21 to also advance to tomorrow's race.
In the 400 Meters, first-year Donovan Prince (San Diego, CA) looks forward to his inaugural SCIAC final appearance with a time of 50.33. Sophomore Tucker Cargile (Denver, CO) and junior Nolan Ridgeway (Long Beach, CA) each punched their ticket to tomorrow's final of the 800 Meters with respective times of 1:57.15 and 1:58.30. Sophomore Jason Waters (Troutdale, OR) and first-year Dylan Fernholz-Hartman are moving on in the 110 Hurdles with qualifying times of 16.07 and 16.21, respectively. Senior John Pease (Fallbrook, CA), Fernholz-Hartman, and senior Nick Burchett (Gold River, CA) each completed the prelims of the 400 Hurdles with top-nine marks to advance to tomorrow's races. Pease led the Bulldogs with a time of 55.31.
The women earned two second-place performances on Saturday, as senior Ellie Ramsey (Waterbury, VT) shined in the 3,000 Steeplechase with a career-best time of 11:13.40 and junior Katie Gonzalez (San Gabriel, CA) impressed in the Hammer Throw with a career-best toss of 155' 6". As a result of their top-three finishes, they each gained All-SCIAC accolades. In addition, sophomore Claire Jamison (Louisville, CO) claimed third place in the Pole Vault by clearing a height of 10' 6 ¾" to earn the first All-SCIAC honor of her young career.
Also contributing to the Bulldogs' effort, junior Maria Ramirez (Orange, CA) captured a fifth-place finish in the 10,000 Meters with a time of 38:02.45.
Finally, senior Kara Romani (Sacramento, CA) wrapped up the day with a sixth-place leap of 17' 5 ½" on her first attempt in the Long Jump to score key points for the Maroon and Gray. In addition, sophomore Brenna Dolen (Redlands, CA) reached a career-best distance of 17' 5 ¼" for seventh place.
As for Sunday's finals, junior Jessica Fields (Las Vegas, CA) fired off a pair of first-place finishes in the preliminaries of the hurdles to begin her title defenses. She uncorked a time of 14.29 in the 100 Hurdles and dashed to a time of 62.70 in the 400 Hurdles. Junior Chyenne Kimble (Big Bear Lake, CA) also shined in the 100 Hurdles with a time of 14.54 for the second-fastest qualifying time. Finally, Romani made her way to tomorrow's races with a career-best time of 15.20.
Paced by Kimble with her third-place time of 12.39, the Bulldogs also advanced three to the final of the 100 Meters. First-years Courtney O'Neal (Atlanta, GA) and Annick Bangou (Redlands, CA) each make their inaugural appearance in the final by uncorking respective times of 12.45 and 12.52. The same trio parlayed its momentum into qualifying times in the 200 Meters as well. Kimble led the bunch once again with a time of 25.44, while Bangou finished in 25.61 and O'Neal ran a 25.97.
In the 400 Meters, sophomore Hannah Albrecht (Cottage Grove, OR) qualified for Sunday's action as the fourth seed with a time of 59.81. Finally, sophomore Desiree Cadena (San Jose, CA) fired off a qualifying time of 2:21.23 in the 800 Meters.
Redlands is back in action for day two of the SCIAC Track & Field Championships, beginning at 2 p.m. in Claremont.