SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- Following last week’s impressive showing at the Cal-Nevada Championships, Azusa Pacific sent a smaller but still-effective contingent to the Mangrum Invitational at Cal State San Marcos Saturday.
Nine Of the 15 competitors from the women’s team posted qualifying marks for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Outdoor Championships in May. The men’s performances were led by the Cougars’ multi-event athletes, who turned in several personal-best performances in Saturday’s competition.
Kim Sanchez cleared 11-feet, 5-inches in the pole vault, just a quarter-inch off the personal-best she set in winning the NCCAA indoor national pole vault title in February. With her latest effort, Sanchez improved on her previous NCCAA-qualifying marks, while Lexie Glaser joined the pole vault qualifiers with a clearance of 9-feet, 11.25-inches. In the high jump, Sydney Eaton tied her season-best by clearing 5-feet, 5-inches, and Faith Douglas also set a season-best with a jump that cleared 5-feet, 1-inch.
On the track, Megan Crowley and Sarah Higgens finished just a half-second apart in the 1500 meters, with both notching NCCAA qualifiers. Crowley crossed the finish line in 4:57.23, while Higgens registered 4:57.74 in her first-ever sub-five minute performance. Higgens now owns qualifying times in two NCCAA events, as she has already qualified for the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Kat Gonzales notched a PR in the 100-meter hurdles, running in an NCCAA-qualifying time of 16.97 seconds, and Reika Kijima and Iliana Velazquez registered qualifiers in the 800 meters. For Kijima, it was the third event she’s finished with an NCCAA standard, this time adding the 800 she ran in 2:18.31 to her previous qualifiers for the 1500 and 5,000. Velasquez finished in 2:21.27, which improves on her previous qualifying times.
For the men, multi-event athletes Justin Young and Matt Nash competed in three events Saturday, while Tomek Czerwinski took on two events. Young’s 110-meter hurdle performance was a personal-best 16.10 seconds, which was good enough to qualify for NCCAA standards for that event, as well.
Nash registered a PR in the discus with a throw of 128-feet, 3-inches, and Czerwinski’s best throw (128-feet, 1-inch) in the discus was just two inches short of Nash. Czerwinski threw the javelin a season-best 155-feet. Cameron Vaughan registered an NCCAA long jump qualifier, leaping 21-feet, 4-inches in an event for which he had already been previously qualified with better marks.
Azusa Pacific will participate in next week’s Pomona-Pitzer Invitational before hosting the Mt. SAC and California Invitational multi-events meet April 17-18 and the Bryan Clay Invitational on Friday, April 19.