AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific swept the men's and women's Golden State Athletic Conference track & field titles Saturday afternoon as it hosted the 2012 GSAC Championship Meet.
The Cougars won nine of the 22 women's events and seven of 22 men's events to claim the program's 17th women's conference championship and 16th men's title. It also brings Azusa Pacific's total GSAC title total to 111 conference championships, a total that will increase to 112 when the Cougar baseball program completes its regular-season and officially claims the 2012 GSAC baseball title later Saturday evening.
Leading the way for the Cougar women, who won their fourth consecutive GSAC title and ninth in the past 12 years, was sophomore Megan Vanwinkle, who won the high jump and long jump, placed second in the javelin and third in the 400 meters while also participating in a pair of relay events won by Azusa Pacific. Vanwinkle’s efforts resulted in 54 of Azusa Pacific’s 223.33 points in the meet. Junior Breanna Leslie was on both of those same relays, and she added individual championships in the 100-meter hurdles and 200 meters, along with a second-place finish in the high jump and a fourth-place effort in the javelin.
Senior Lauren Jimison won the 5000 meters for the second straight season, and she was runner-up in the 1500 meters. Kathleen Luna and Jordan Robusto each won a throwing event, leading the Cougar throwing contingent to 54 total points as all four throwers each placed in the top-eight of two events. Luna won the shot put and was the runner-up in the hammer throw to Robusto, who also took fourth in the discus. Lauren Orris and Cheri Smith each placed in the top-five of both the hammer and discus.
Senior Emily Nash scored points with top-eight finishes in three different events, and both she and Anita Fung were also on both of the Cougars’ GSAC champion relays. Nash placed fifth in the long jump and posted seventh-place performances in the 100-meter hurdles and javelin. Diandra Carstensen also scored in multiple events, finishing sixth in the 800 meters and fifth in the 1500 meters. In addition to winning GSAC titles in nine events, Azusa Pacific had the runner-up in three other events. Kristie Sikma was second in the 5000 meters, Sarah Higgens finished second in the 3000 meter steeplechase, and Ferin Barry was the pole vault runner-up.
The Azusa Pacific men’s team title was led by senior Casey Stevick and true freshman Remontay McClain, along with a dominant showing from eight Cougar hurdlers. Stevick pieced together a team-high 21 points individually, doing so with top-eight finishes in six different events. He placed fourth in the pole vault, shot put, and discus, and he also registered points in the 110-meter high hurdles, high jump, and long jump competitions.
McClain, meanwhile, simply dominated a pair of events, winning the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes, and he also ran the anchor leg of the Cougars’ GSAC championship 4x100 relay team. He destroyed the 100 meter field by posting a 10.41 in the final, which was actually eight-hundredths of a second slower than his prelim time but still beat his closest competitor by almost three-quarters of a second. The 200 was much closer, but McClain held off Concordia’s Trey Williams for the win in a time of 21.37.
In the hurdles, Azusa Pacific placed four in the top six of both the 110-meter high and 400-meter intermediate hurdles events. Cedrique Smith was the 110-meter high hurdles champion, winning the event for the first time since he did so in 2009, and his prelim time of 14.10 was a new GSAC championship meet record. His winning finals time of 14.19 also beat the old record of 14.22, which was set in 2001 by Point Loma Nazarene’s Ales Skoberne. Kyle Clark successfully defended his GSAC title in the 400-meter hurdles, winning the event for the second consecutive year with a time of 52.69.
Smith was joined in the 110 hurdle finals by his teammates Javen Correia, Stevick, and Slater Ezell, who claimed third, fifth, and sixth place, respectively. In the 400 hurdles, Clark was joined in the top six by Ezell (second), Tanner Henry (fourth), and Riley McKee (sixth), and Sameer Sedam placed eighth to give the Cougars five scoring finishes for a whopping 27 points in the event.
Abednego Magut turned in a pair of runner-up finishes, placing second in both the 800 and 1500 meters, and Zach Ginn added another 12 points in the distance events by placing second in the 10,000 and fifth in the 5,000 meters.
Another trio of Cougars scored in three separate events, led by sophomore thrower Brad Beckwith, who claimed the GSAC discus title Friday before placing third in the hammer and sixth in the shot put in Saturday’s competitions. David Shulte finished fourth in the long jump and scored points in two events on the track, the 200 and 400 meters. Shulte also ran the third leg of the Cougars’ 4x400 relay, and he was running within reach of the race leaders when the baton was knocked from his hands on the final turn, dropping Azusa Pacific to sixth in that event.
Matthew Nash finished second in the decathlon with 6100 points, and he also took sixth place in both the pole vault and javelin events. Nash was one of three Cougar decathletes who claimed the second through fourth spots behind decathlon champion Jeff Hester of Point Loma Nazarene. Jorge Macias scored 5996 points to finish in third place, and Justin Young scored 5716 to take fourth. Macias also placed in the top-five of the pole vault, registering 10 points in all towards Azusa Pacific’s GSAC championship team scoring total, and Young added a seventh-place performance in the discus.
Azusa Pacific has two regular-season meets remaining on the schedule before the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are held May 24-26 in Marion, Ind.
FINAL WOMEN'S STANDINGS
1. AZUSA PACIFIC (223.33)
2. Fresno Pacific (169.66)
3. Westmont (125)
4. Biola (107)
5. Point Loma Nazarene (93)
6. Vanguard (67)
7. Concordia (42)
8. The Master's (9)
FINAL MEN'S STANDINGS
1. AZUSA PACIFIC (221)
2. Fresno Pacific (154.5)
3. Westmont (137.5)
4. Biola (105)
5. Point Loma Nazarene (95)
6. Concordia (68)
7. The Master's (55)
8. Vanguard (6)