FULLERTON, Calif. – The men's and women's track and field teams performed well against stiff Big West Competition on Friday at Titan Track Complex in the 23rd annual Big West Challenge, but fell just short of capturing the Challenge Cup from rival Long Beach State.
Competing against Big West opponents Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine, the Titan men and women finished finished close behind the eventual winners, Long Beach State, who took home the cup on both sides.
The Titan sprinters were paced by sophomore Janaya Shorty who took home two first-place finishes on the day. Shorty began her day taking home top prize in the 100m dash, outpacing the field and crossing the finish line in 11.79 seconds. The Victorville, Calif. native then went on to do the same in the 200m dash later in the meet, finishing ahead of pack and posting a season-best time of 23.79 sec.
Taylor Ros was the standout performer for the Titan sprinters on the men's side on Friday, taking home first place in the 400m dash, posting a time of 48.01 sec. Junior Joshua Gordon finished just behind Ros at 48.05 sec. and Chaz Harmon posted a fourth place finish with a time of 48.69 sec.
Tyler Hardge rounded out the top finishes for the Titan sprinters at the Big West Challenge after she crossed the finish line ahead of all other competitors in the 400m hurdles with a time of 61.58 sec. Senior Deena Pierce also cracked the top five, finishing in fifth place with a time of 64.29 sec. to help the Titan women's overall cause in the chase for the cup.
The high jump competition continued to be an area of strength for both the Titan men and women on Friday at Titan Track Complex. Malik Johnson and Steven Williams finished in first and second place, respectively, for the men with Ty'Jalayah Robertson taking second place and Taylor Frank finishing in third place. Johnson cleared the 2.05m mark, and won the event at the Big West Challenge for the second-straight season after taking home the top spot at UC Irvine a year ago.
Robertson cleared 1.65m for her second-place finish while Frank cleared 1.60m to round out the top three on the women's side. Robertson also took home second place in the triple jump event, posting a distance of 11.61m.
Jessica Flores continued her strong season in the hammer throw competition on Friday, posting a second-place finish after throwing a distance of 54.90m.
Trevor Gorwin competed in three throwing events on the day and took home top-ten finishes two. He took home seventh place in the hammer throw with a distance of 52.50m and saved his best performance of the day for the shot put, posting a throw of 16.03m that earned him fourth place overall.
The top finish of the day for the Titan men in the hammer throw went to junior Steven Parsons, however, after his throw of 55.00m earned him a fifth-place finish.
Fullerton honored 25 seniors that are scheduled to graduate this year and competed for the last time as Titans at Titan Track Complex, the student-athletes include: Kimberly Amaya, Katie Bathgate, Tristanie Bjazevich, Calaiah Branch, Elizabeth Claustro, Tejera Dial, Taylor Frank, Nicolette Garcia, Tijerra Lynch, Celinda Manzo, Lauren McIntyre, Amanda Mercado, Pierce, Leah Stevens, Morgan Thompson, Alexandra Kemp, Kenneth Callinan, Sean Grahm, Bubba Ostowski, Brandon Perry, Ros, Nick Sole, Daniel Walker, Malek Walls and Steven Williams.
The Titans will compete in four events in the coming week, kicking off their busy week with the CA Invitational Combined Events in Azusa, Calif. on Thurs.-Fri. Fullerton moves on to the Cal State LA Twilight Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif. on Fri. before entering the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. on Fri.-Sat. and the Beach Invitational in Long Beach, Calif. on Sat.