The Big West Conference Track and Field Championships got under way on Friday and, as predicted, Utah State ran right to the front of the pack in both the men's and women's events in front of a crowd of 747 at the Ralph Maughan Track Stadium.
The USU women rank first with 69 points while the men have tallied 84. UC Santa Barbara is in second place in both the men's and women's championship results.Junior Ladonna Antoine provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships while also setting a Big West Championship meet and Maughan Track Stadium record in the 200-meter dash preliminaries with a time of 23.38. She was also the leading qualifier in the 400-meter dash.
Senior Wendy Egbert had another standout day in the discus, winning easily with a personal best toss of 168 feet, which breaks the school record she set last week and raises her NCAA provisional qualifying mark in that event.
Senior Becky Sorensen defended her conference long jump title with a leap of 19 feet, 93/4 inches. She also qualified for the finals in the 200 and 400 meters. Sophomore Kim Lutz and senior Stephanie Reading finished one-two in the javelin with throws of 145'7" and 129'9" respectively, both personal bests. Junior Lisa Hart earned runner-up honors in the 10,000-meter run, covering the distance in 39:07.41 while senior Jennifer Davidson qualified for the finals in the 100-meter hurdles by winning her heat in the second-fastest time in USU history with a 13.64. Davidson will also race in the 100-meter dash finals today.
Junior Toby Conley earned his second straight Big West title at 10,000 meters in 31:34.57 with senior Mike Davidson finishing second at 31:57.37. Junior Scott Schaley scored first-place points in the discus with a heave of 166-11, a personal best, while classmate Justin DeSantis finished third in that event at 154-7. DeSantis earned his own Big West title in the hammer with a mark of 177-10. Junior Justin Dudek, Schaley, and junior Rick Baird finished two-three-four in the same event while freshman Glen Busch broke onto the Big West scene with a second-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase, clocking 9:42.61.
In the multi-events, junior Brian Dopp has a slight lead with 3,833 points over junior Rob McKenna at 3,650 after five events. Sophomore Jamie Hall leads a trio of Aggies after four events in the heptathlon with 3,031 points. Junior Jenny Franson is right behind at 2,923, followed by senior Diana Horner at 2,891.
Day two of the championships is slated to begin at 11 a.m. with the women's hammer. The first running event will be under way at 2 p.m. with the women's 5,000-meter run.