IRVINE, Calif. -- It might be spring break, but Azusa Pacific’s track & field teams put in another weekend of hard work that resulted in several national-qualifying and personal-best performances Saturday at the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational.
Two of the biggest PRs came in men’s throwing events, as junior Brad Beckwith moved into sixth on the Cougars’ all-time list for the discus throw with a toss of 169-feet, 10-inches. Beckwith’s previous career-best was ninth on the all-time list at 166-feet, 10-inches. Richy Nance, who already had a qualifying mark in the javelin for the National Christian College Athletic Association outdoor championships, added over 14 feet to his personal-best, throwing 171-feet, 7-inches to move into fourth on the NCCAA qualifying list.
David Schulte also set a pair of personal-bests, knocking over half a second off his 200-meter PR by posting a 22.20 in the event, and he also edged his long jump PR with a leap of 23-feet, 2-inches. Riley McKee ran a 49.76 in the 400 meters, posting an NCCAA-qualifier with a new PR.
Highlights from the women’s meet included two 200-meter PRs, with Breanna Leslie registering 24.39 while Anita Fung clocked a 25.64 to shave 11-hundredths of a second off her previous career-best. Leslie also got within an inch of her long jump PR, leaping 18-feet, 9-inches on the second of her six jumps in the event.
Megan VanWinkle, who holds Azusa Pacific’s women’s long jump record, went 19-feet, 6-inches in the long jump for her best performance so far in 2013. Mareka Clark jumped a season-best 39-feet, 9.25-inches in the triple jump, and she also ran a season-best in the 200 meters with a time of 25.42.
The men’s meet also included national-qualifying times for six of Azusa Pacific’s nine entries into the 200 meters, with Tanner Henry notching a career-best time of 22.94. Six others registered season-bests in the event, including Trenten Merrill, whose time of 24.47 was 45-hundredths of a second faster than his performance last week. Merrill also knocked nearly half a second off his season-best in the 400 meters, finishing in 56.30 seconds, and his jump of 18-feet, 1-inch in the long jump was his best since the opening meet of indoor season back in late January.
Henry also posted a PR in the 100, meeting the NCCAA qualifying standard in the sprint with a time of 11.34, while Ronald Douglas tied his 100-meter season-best, running in 10.98 seconds for the second consecutive week. In the 400 meter hurdles, Sameer Sedam improved on his previous NCCAA qualifier by over two full seconds by posting a time of 55.92 seconds, giving Azusa Pacific three of the NCCAA’s top six 400 hurdles times so far in the outdoor season.
The Cougars are back in action next week at the Cal-Nevada Collegiate Championships hosted by UC San Diego March 29-30.