SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- After a week of speculation to how Allison Updike would follow up last week’s second-longest javelin throw in program history, the sophomore thrower quickly answered the question of how soon she might be able to break the school-record with her opening throw. Updike shattered the previous mark by over 10 feet with a toss of 163-feet, 7-inches Friday at the Cal-Nevada Championships hosted by UC San Diego.
The previous record of 153-feet, 6-inches, was set in 2000 by Vanessa Wilhelm, and Updike was within five feet of that previous mark on her fourth attempt. She now owns the second-longest throw in NCAA Division II women’s track and field this season, and she landed inside the top-20 among all collegiate levels (including Division I) with her newly-minted school-record performance.
Updike’s win in the javelin event led Azusa Pacific to a ninth-place team finish in the meet. The Cougars scored 27 points and posted the second-highest finish among NCAA Division II programs behind the meet host UC San Diego, while all of the top-six team finishers were Division I programs. The Azusa Pacific men placed 14th overall with 19 points.
Another impressive performance in the throws came from junior Danica Dobosy, who finished eighth overall in the discus with a personal-best throw of 142-feet, 8-inches, which added almost 20 feet to her PR. Dobosy also claimed sixth place in the hammer with a throw of 164-feet, 8-inches.
Sophomore Reika Kijima won her preliminary heat of the 800 meters with a major improvement to her PR, posting a 2:12.55 which shaved 2.7 seconds off the career-best she ran just a week ago at the Aztec Invitational. Kijima finished eighth in the 800 meter finals, and she also notched another career-best in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:35.31.
A quartet of distance runners took part in the 10,000 meters, led by junior Elle Farrar, who completed her third collegiate 10k in 38:50.43, which was 2:49 faster than her previous best. The other three Cougars in the race were all running the collegiate 10k race for the first time, and sophomore Natalie Koskela turned in a top-10 finish by placing ninth overall with a time of 38:21.02. Farrar was 12th, sophomore Christina Russell was 16th (39:21.82), and junior Elizabeth Lyons registered 18th overall with a time of 39:57.61.
For the men, seniors David Schulte and Riley McKee each won individual heats in the 400 and 800 meters, respectively, and they both finished seventh in the finals of their events. Schulte’s 400-meter prelim time of 48.33 was the second-fastest qualifying time, and even after the finals it still registered as the third-fastest of the event although he finished seventh overall by clocking 49.41 in the finals. McKee, meanwhile, won his preliminary heat of the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.08, which was the fifth-fastest qualifier. He also took seventh in the finals after clocking 1:54.26.
In Schulte’s race, sophomore Cory Crawford ran a season-best 50.83, and senior Trenten Merrill logged a 400-meter PR with his time of 53.68. In the 800-meter race with McKee, sophomore Ryan Phillips finished third in his heat and posted a time of 1:55.19 which was 15-hundredths of a second away from making the cut for the 800-meter finals.
Sophomore sprinter Ronald Douglas qualified for the finals in both the 100- and 200-meters, taking sixth in the 200 with a time of 21.90 and seventh in the 100 with a time of 10.90 seconds. Freshman hurdler Matt Kenney continued to make steady improvements through his first three collegiate 400-meter hurdle races when he posted a time of 58.99. In addition, freshman Kyle Bueckert ran the 5,000 meters in 15:55.90 to log a 12-second improvement over the first outdoor track and field 5,000 meter race he ran March 15.
Azusa Pacific’s outdoor track and field season continues on Saturday, April 12, when the Cougars stay local to take part in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.