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Track & Field

Two Relay Squads, One Individual Reach NCAA Championships

Links associated with this release:
NCAA West Preliminary Page


The Beach women's and Titan men's 4x100 squads blazed to spots in Eugene, while #BWCTF Track Athlete of the Year Jenna Hinkle (UCSB) set a PR in punching her 1500m ticket.

West Preliminary Results Packet

The number of Big West qualifiers to the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships increased to 15 individuals as the West Preliminary meet concluded Saturday at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif.

Two relay teams joined UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle on the list of conference representatives who will be making the trip to Eugene, Oregon, to compete against the nation’s best from June 6-9 at historic Hayward Field.

In Thursday’s opening day of the West Preliminary round, Long Beach State men’s long jumpers Jason Smith and Saladin Nasser qualified for the NCAA’s, along with women’s high jumpers Lily Lowe of Hawai‘i and Erinn Beattie of UC Davis.  UC Davis men’s pole vaulter Marc Toney also punched his ticket to Eugene.

The Big West had a large contingent of participants on Saturday – 29 in total – and the track portion of the meet started with solid performances from two relay entries.

The Cal State Fullerton men’s 4x100 relay team set a school record in 39.86 seconds to finish third in their heat and 10th overall.  The top three teams in three separate heats plus the next three fastest times met the criteria to advance to nationals.  Running the first sub-40 second race in program history, the Titan quartet of Rasaun House, Thaddeus Smith, Luis Matos and Marcel Espinoza supplanted the previous record of 40.10 set in 2016.  CSF is sending a men’s 4x100 relay team to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2003.

The next race netted another NCAA qualifier as the Long Beach State women’s 4x100 relay team took the oval.  The quartet of Courtne’ Davis, Ashleigh Chambers, Azaria Hill and Madison Golden ran the race in 44.66 seconds to finish third in their heat and qualify automatically for Eugene.  The time nearly broke the foursome’s program record performance of 44.63 established at the Big West Championships two weeks ago.  LBSU finished ninth overall in becoming the second 4x100 relay team in school history to reach nationals.

UC Santa Barbara senior Jenna Hinkle achieved the final Big West qualification for NCAA’s as she broke her own school record in the women’s 1,500 meters.  Hinkle, who finished second overall in 4:20.07 in Thursday’s preliminary, clocked 4:15.39 to place sixth in her heat and 11th overall.  The top five finishers in each of the two heats automatically qualified for nationals, plus the next two fastest times.  Hinkle earned that distinction with Washington State’s Kaili Keefe (4:16.57).  In posting her time, Hinkle eclipsed the 4:16.62 she ran at the Stanford Invitational in 2017.

Here is the complete list of Big West qualifiers for the NCAA Championships.

Jason Smith, Long Beach State Men's Long Jump
Saladin Nasser, Long Beach State Men’s Long Jump
Erinn Beattie, UC Davis Women’s High Jump
Lily Lowe, Hawai‘i Women’s High Jump
Marc Toney, UC Davis Men's Pole Vault
Rasaun House, Thaddeus Smith, Luis Matos, Marcel Espinoza Cal State Fullerton Men’s 4x100 Relay
Courtne' Davis, Ashleigh Chambers, Azaria Hill, Madison Golden Long Beach State Women's 4x100 Relay
Jenna Hinkle, UC Santa Barbara Women’s 1500 Meters
Hope Bender, UC Santa Barbara Heptathlon