Titans Host 23rd Annual Big West Challenge

Photo taken by Matt Brown
Photo taken by Matt Brown

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FULLERTON, Calif. – The Cal State Fullerton men's and women's track and field team will host the final home meet of the 2015 season on Friday when it host's the Big West Challenge that welcomes UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and UC Irvine to Titan Track Complex for the one-day meet beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Fullerton men and women combined for eight first-place finishes and one meet record a year ago at UC Irvine's Anteater Stadium en route to a second-place finish for the women's team and a third-place finish for the Titan men. 

The team of Alexandria Stewart, Ashley Sims, Katie Wilson and Destinee Brown set the new meet record in the 4x100-meter relay last season, crossing the finish line in 45.72 seconds.  This season, Alexis Stewart, Tyler Hardge and Janaya Shorty will join Stewart in her attempt to finish ahead of the field once again.

Deena Pierce will be back in action on Friday in the women's 400m hurdles, looking to make it a third-straight first-place finish in the event after taking home the top spot at UC Irvine in 2013 and 2014.  Pierce will not only attempt to defend her title in the 400m hurdles, but will do the same in the 100m hurdles after posting a time of 14.20 sec. and taking home first place last year.

Senior Steven Williams will look to make it three-straight wins in the high jump competition for the Titans after taking home the top prize at the UC Riverside Spring Classic on Mar. 28 and the UCLA Legends Invite on Apr. 4.  The Downey, Calif. native cleared a personal-best 6-feet-11 inches in Westwood, the top jump in the Big West so far this season. 

Williams will have competition on Friday in teammate Malik Johnson, who won the high jump event earlier at the UNLV Spring Invite earlier this season.  Johnson will be back to defend his title in the Big West Challenge after winning the high jump last season at Anteater Stadium with a jump of 6-feet-6.75 inches.

One week after posting a second-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase, Tim Reed will look to improve on his personal-best finish of 9:23.10 sec. set at UCLA.  Joe Casco will also take part in the event for the men, as Pamela Pelayo, Amanda Crissinger, Katie Bathgate and Kim Melechinsky will all compete for the Titan women.

Daniel Walker will compete in the Javelin Throw competition for the fifth-straight meet for the Titan men, taking first place in the UC Riverside Spring Classic with a personal-best throw of 199-feet-9 inches.  Alexander Ostrowski will join Walker in the event on Friday.

The Titans will be honoring seniors: Kimberly Amaya, 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 Graham, Ostrowski, Brandon Perry, Taylor Ros, Nick Sole, Walker, Malek Walls, Williams, Emmanuel Martinez and Steven Parsons at 9:05 p.m., just before the 4x400m Relay gets underway for the final event of the meet.

This year's Big West Challenge will feature DJ Baeb as well as the Titan Spirit Squad and Dance Team performances.  Food is scheduled to be served as well as an appearance from Tuffy, the Cal State Fullerton mascot.

Events are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at Titan Track Complex with the men and women's hammer throw and will end at 9:35 p.m. will the Big West Challenge Cup awards ceremony. 


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