Tritons Take Second, Third at CCAA Meet

    TRACK & FIELD — They couldn’t break Chico State’s dominance, but the Tritons came away with a pair of podium finishes over the weekend at the CCAA Championships in Turlock, Calif.

    The women’s team placed second for the second straight year, while the men’s team took third place.

    “We thought we competed about as well as we possibly could,” men’s head coach Tony Salerno said. “The conference is as tough as it’s ever been, and we feel we stepped up to that level.”

    Chico took both the men’s and women’s title for the second straight year. It was the second straight title for the Wildcat women, while the men’s team continued their dominance with an eighth consecutive title.

    On the women’s side, Stephanie LeFever led the way for the Tritons, taking home Female Field Athlete of the Meet honors with an outstanding performance. LeFever had perhaps the busiest meet of any athlete, competing in five events in addition to the heptathlon.

    The senior won the heptathlon with a score of 5282, well above her nearest competitor. LeFever also took first in the long jump with a leap of 19’11.75”, as well as the triple jump in a personal-best 39’3”. She was fifth in the 100 hurdles, seventh in the high jump and fourth in the javelin throw as well. All told, LeFever garnered an astounding 41 points for her team, better than some of the teams in the meet.

    “There were no questions about who was going to be athlete of the meet,” Salerno said.

    Kelly Fogarty was also a standout as Female Track Co-Athlete of the Meet, despite competing while sick. The senior won the 100- and 200-meter dash, and anchored the 4×100 relay team that finished in second. Fogarty had times of 11.65 and 23.92 in the 100 and 200, respectively, for fairly comfortable victories in both events.

    The Tritons scored big points in the 400 hurdles, taking three of the top four spots. Senior Deyna Roberson won the event with a personal best 61.76.

    Danielle Thu threw 178’10 to easily win the hammer throw, outdistancing second place by over 20 feet. Thu also took third in the shot put.

    Theresa Richards took first in the javelin throw with a toss of 145’11. Sophomore Jessica Miklaski turned in an outstanding performance to take second in the event, throwing well over her previous best at 136’01”.

    The Tritons scored 176 points as a team, trailing only Chico State’s total of 210. Cal State Los Angeles finished third with 116 points.

    On the men’s side, junior Nick Howe won his third straight conference title in the javelin throw with a mark of 220’2”. Howe also recorded a mark of 6’4.25” in the high jump, taking second place in his first year competing in the event.

    Senior Jesse Morrill pulled off a monster race in the 3000 steeplechase, clocking a personal-best 9:03.19 to win the event and record an NCAA provisional qualifier.

    “It was the race of a lifetime,” Salerno said. “[Morrill] deserves a lot of credit for that. He did it when it counted — in the conference championship meet to help the team.”

    Morrill was basically racing alone — with the second place runner not close to him in the race — and in the hottest part of the day.

    “He took a worst-case scenario, and had the race of his like,” Salerno said. “And that’s really, really impressive, and we’re really proud of him.

    Junior Ka Wai Ng set a school record in the 100-meter dash preliminaries, clocking 10.74. He fell back a little in the finals of the race on Saturday, with a 10.93 finish good for fifth place. He also took second in his main event, the triple jump, with a leap of 47’6.25”.

    Chico State was once again dominant with 237 points, comfortably ahead of Cal State L. A.’ 143. UCSD finished just behind Cal State L.A. with 141.5 points.

    The Tritons will travel to the Cal State L.A. Invitational next weekend as a final warm-up meet for the athletes that qualified for the NCAA Division-II National Championships the weekend of May 20.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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