SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The UC Santa Cruz outdoor track and field team departed the American River College Invitational on Saturday with 5 new personal records and 2 school records. While it was the first event for the Slugs since March 5th, they didn't take long to shake the rust off.
On Saturday, the relay team of Sydney Gutierrez, Natalie Marquardt, Autumn Burton, and Emmaline Fronczak clocked a time of 4:20.05 which topped the previous record of 4:20.91 set by earlier in the year at the year at the Johnny Mathis Invitational. It was the first 4x400 relay that the four ran together.
"With some athletes unavailable with injuries, we put this team together," said Coach Jamey Harris. "It was a great relay. They got out strong and were able to keep the pace through the anchor lap. There's no doubt that this group will continue to improve as the season goes on. I expect that they will top this time very soon."
The Slugs women's team saw some great races in the middle distance. In the 800 Meter, freshman Gutierrez finished 4th with a season best 2:24.33. Freshmen teammates Marquardt and Fronczak each ran personal records in the field of 44. Marquardt finished 9th with a time of 2:27.54 while Fronczak finished 22nd at 2:35.79
The Slugs also had a strong performance by Gutierrez in the Women's 1500 Meter as she achieved a personal record while finishing 11th and clocking a 4:59.01.
The men's team was equally impressive in the middle distance. Sophomore Takehiro Yamaya finished 4th in the 800 Meter with a school record 1:58.46. Yamaya and freshman teammate Tommy Smail also added a personal bests in the 1500 Meter at 4:07.87 and 4:19.01.
"We are at that point in our season where we really start to see all the practice and work pay off," added Harris. "I'm looking forward to see the continued improvements throughout the remained of the season".
The Slugs will be back on the track April 1-2 for the San Francisco Distance Carnival at San Francisco State.