Track & Field Program Unveiled at Kim Duyst Invitational

Track & Field Program Unveiled at Kim Duyst Invitational
TURLOCK - UC Santa Cruz Track & Field began an exciting time in program history at the Kim Duyst Invitational, hosted by Stanislaus State.  The NCAA program has traditionally been made up of almost exclusively distance runners while a Track & Field Sports Club has participated in other events. This weekend saw Banana Slugs in every event group, including sprints, hurdles, jumps, and throws in NCAA competition for the first time. 

Shannon McClish stole the show for the Banana Slugs. Fresh off a track personal best in the 5K last weekend that she called "disappointing", McClish started her day with an impressive debut at 1500m, then improved her 5K best by 25 seconds with an 18:17.55 performance that is #4 in school history and #5 in the nation on the first weekend of NCAA Division III Outdoor qualifying. 
Madison Wright got the field events off to a good start with a 1.48m clearance in the High Jump that was good for #12 in the nation over the weekend. Eric Bauer came close to matching his personal best in the Men's High Jump.
Jordynn Dorado, Gillian Davis, and Tamara Frangoul each had solid performances in the throws. The coaching staff have decided to honor the school records established by Sports Club participants over the years, but that trio showed that all four throws records are in jeopardy. 
Jeff Zhang improved slightly on last week's javelin performance. Carson Lysik's unconventional ambidextrous javelin throwing technique netted a personal best of 29.38m (96 ft 5 in.). Kevin Raja continued to make strides in the discus with a significant improvement on his previous best.
Lysik's lifetime best and Brandon Hill's collegiate debut earned spots in the final of the 110m Hurdles. Hill was especially impressive, nearly breaking the school record, despite a significant headwind. Wright managed to overcome the less than ideal conditions to take down the women's school record at 19.03.
Led by Raissa Boysen's continued strong start to the season and Solomon Reinman's solid debut, all seven Banana Slugs competing in the 1500m recorded personal bests. Perhaps most impressive was a huge improvement by Ashley Anderson in a heat-winning effort.
Behind McClish, 800m school record holder Sydney Gutierrez made her track 5K debut and grabbed the #10 spot on the Banana Slugs' all-time list with a time of 19:04. Sophia Mohoney and Bella Demachkie earned personal bests as well.

A deep crew of Banana Slug sprinters established a distinct UC Santa Cruz presence throughout the meet. Natalie Marquardt improved the school record with her 400m debut running 1:02.41. Nancy Alvarado-Zavaleta improved her 100m best. Coach David Klech saw reason for excitement in the entire sprint group's performances. "More impressive than the marks we put up today was the way we executed our races. It really bodes well for later in the season."
The Slugs showed great team spirit throughout the meet. That energy was never more apparent than during the final event with multiple Banana Slug relay teams competing in the 4x400m relay and the rest of the team on the infield cheering them on at the end of a long day. Head Coach Jamey Harris added, "We really came together as a full Track & Field team today. That's key. That's probably the most important thing we accomplished today."
Banana Slug Track & Field will try to carry that momentum into the Hornet Invitational, hosted by Sacramento State on March 17-18.