by Ramzi Rabadi
The University of La Verne men’s and women’s track and field teams continued to add athletes for nationals at the Occidental Invitational, but they must wait until Sunday to learn the results of the athletes, who are on a provisional list for nationals.
“This meet served as a great tune-up for the nationals. The main objective for these late season meets is to be competitive, and for most part, we succeeded in that aspect,” said Will Darity, assistant track coach.
The top 16 scores will be released Sunday evening, determining the fate for freshman Rhiannon Jensen, who had 42-1 in the shot put, junior Stephanie Castillo, who ran 57.77 in the 400m, senior Stacey Williams and junior Patrina Hall, who each marked 18-3 3/4 in the long jump.
Also included on the provisional list due to the Occidental Invitation is senior Liron Wilson, junior J. Anthony Rudolph, senior Bart Evans and sophomore Ordell Williams, who ran the men’s 4x400m relay in 3:17.62.
“We were satisfied, but we could have done better,” said Wilson, who is ranked fourth in the nation in the 200. “We arrange the order. We just wanted to be on the provisional list.”
Junior Katrina Hall clinched two more automatic bids in the triple jump with a 38-4 and the long jump with a 18-4 1/2.
Also, freshman Jemeace Willis, Williams, juniors Patrina and Katrina Hall, who make up the women’s 4x100m relay team, had received a automatic bid with the time of 48.45.
Patrina Hall got another possible bid, by running a 25.42 in the 200.
“We knew we were going to be good, but not this good,” head coach Pat Widolff said. “By far, this is the best year.”
The defending champs of men’s 4x100m relay, who also have the top time in the nation in Division III with 41.25, kept the Leopards rolling on, with a time of 41.28.
“We could have been better. The main key is focus,” senior Jason Neal said. “There’s a lot more pressure. It is hard to repeat, because everyone is looking at us.”
The team is planning to leave Tuesday morning for La Crosse, Wisc., to contend in nationals, May 21-24.
Wilson automatically qualified for the 200m run with a time of 21.55.
Katrina Hall and senior Jacqui Zwissler both have automatically qualified for nationals in the triple jumps with distances of 38′ 4 1/2″ and 37′ 10 3/4,” respectively.
Zwissler also is attending nationals for the javelin with a distance of 134′ 10″.
According to Widolff, senior Socorro Gonzalez, who earlier qualified for nationals in the javelin and shot put, has decided not to go because of personal reasons.
The Leopards will travel to Cal State Los Angeles, tomorrow, to compete in the ASICS Distance Classic.