CLAREMONT, Calif. -- If the early-season results are any indication, Azusa Pacific is in for an impressive final month of outdoor track & field season.
Several of the Cougars’ most consistent performers all year were at or near career-best marks Saturday afternoon at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, which leads into a final three-week stretch of high-profile competitions which include conference and national championship meets.
Leading the way Saturday was sophomore sprinter Remontay McClain, who ran a meet-record winning time of 10.27 seconds in the 100-meter dash while also collecting a 200-meter win with a time of 20.73 seconds.
Two weeks ago, McClain was the USTFCCCA Division II Athlete of the Week when he posted a 20.71 200-meter time, which at the time was the fastest collegiate outdoor 200 in 2013, and Saturday’s performance was still five-hundredths of a second ahead of any other Division II performance this season.
Senior Breanna Leslie, who competes in the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays section of next week’s combined events meet hosted by Azusa Pacific, tied her personal-best in the high jump (5-feet, 7-inches) and ran a 13.95 in the 100-meter hurdles, which is just seven-hundredths of a second off her career-best in that event. Junior Megan VanWinkle, who will join Leslie in the Mt. SAC Relays field next week, knocked a tenth of a second off her 100-meter hurdles PR with a time of 15.07, and both VanWinkle and Leslie ran legs of the 4x100 meter relay which posted a season-best of 47.15 seconds.
Jordan Chesley recorded two personal-bests, clocking 26.34 seconds in the 200 meters and 1:06.36 in the 400-meter hurdles. In addition, she registered 14.99 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, her fourth sub-15 second effort in the event this season.
Other meet highlights came from Kristie Sikma, who won the 5,000 with a time of 17:38.78, along with season-best marks from Mareka Clark in the 200 (24.81), Kat Gonzales in the 100 hurdles (16.80), Faith Douglas in the high jump (5-feet, 1-inch), and Katie Herndon in the pole vault (9-feet, 2.25-inches). Megan Crowley joined the Cougars’ long list of qualifiers for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) championships with a season-best 800-meter time of 2:22.61.
The men’s team featured eight personal-best performances along with 14 more season-bests. Along with McClain’s 100-meter meet-record and PR, Sameer Sedam and Matthew Nash each registered two personal-best events. Sedam became an NCCAA qualifier in the 100 with his 11.11-second mark, and his time of 55.04 also represented a PR in the 400-meter hurdles. Nash, who competes in next week’s California Invitational “B” section, established a new PR in the 110 hurdles with an NCCAA-qualifying time of 16.40, and he also upped his pole vault personal-best to 14-feet, 6.25-inches.
Riley McKee turned in a 400-meter PR of 49.39 seconds, while Slater Ezell and Tanner Henry set career-best marks in the hurdle events. Ezell ran a 14.90 in the 110 hurdles, and Henry ran his first-ever sub-54 second 400 hurdles, finishing in 53.80 seconds. Also in the 110 hurdles, Jacob Hare posted an NCCAA-qualifier when he clocked a 15.57 in his first career outdoor-season hurdles race.
In the middle distances, Aaron Potts was just four-hundredths off his season-best in the 800, running 1:54.76, and his 1500-meter effort of 3:56.35 was his best this season. Ronald Douglas, Anthony Bryant, and Cory Crawford each clocked season-bests in both of their respective sprints. Douglas recorded 10.74 in the 100 and 21.95 in the 200 while Bryant tallied 22.39 in the 200 and 49.36 in the 400, and Crawford ran 22.51 in the 200 and 50.42 in the 400.
Peter Buscheck improved by nearly 20 seconds from his first 5,000 meter performance this season, coming in under the 15-minute mark with a time of 14:56.08, while Mike Richardson ran a season-best 10:07.61 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
LaJuan Moye and John Olear each tied season-bests in the high jump, clearing 6-feet, 4.75-inches and 6-feet, 0.75-inches, respectively, and Brad Beckwith came within eight inches of the discus PR he set two weeks ago, throwing exactly 172-feet. David Musson, who has thrown javelin every other week throughout most of the outdoor season, was back in action Saturday, and his best throw was 205-feet, 7-inches.
Azusa Pacific hosts the Mt. SAC Relays and California Invitational meet, which is the nation’s largest invitational combined events in the country, on Wednesday and Thursday of the upcoming week, and the Cougars also play host to the fifth annual Bryan Clay Invitational, which will feature over 1,000 competitors on Friday, April 19.