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Titans impress, show improvement at Chico Twilight

Posted on April 17, 2014 | in News, Sports, Track and Field | by

[Contributed by Grady O'Connor]

Lane Sophomore Sean McGetrick placed third in the men's 110-meter hurdles at the Chico Twilight Invitational April 12. [Contributed by Grady O'Connor]

Athletes prepare for Hayward Field following weekend

After a solid showing at the Linfield Invitational in McMinnville, the Titans traveled down to Chico, Calif. to compete in the Chico Twilight.

In this meet, the Titans competed against several larger universities, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, San Francisco State University, Humboldt State University, Saint Mary’s College of California, as well as the hosting team, the California State University Wildcats.

The Titans opened up the meet April 11 with two victories, one of which came in the high jump courtesy of freshman Dakarai Hightower. Hightower continued his strong jumping from earlier this season at the Lane preview, when he cleared a height of 6’10.75″, besting Chico State’s Michael Souza’s 6’8″ jump.

The second triumph came from the long strides of freshman Kristin Clark, who won the women’s triple jump with a jump of 36’11.6″. Clark won by leaping just an inch and a half further than Chico State’s Brooke Whitburn.

The Titans were also able to produce a strong finish in the women’s 800-meter event. Freshman Kristine Dunn finished fourth in a highly contested field that saw the third through fifth-place finishers separated by less than a second.

Fellow freshman Nicole Maurmann opened her day with a solid second-place finish in the women’s 5,000-meter run. Maurmann ran in
18:35.04, with fellow Titans freshman Katy Potter and Alli Cross finishing third and fourth respectively.

Chico was also the first meet at which head track coach Grady O’Connor was able to deploy his women’s 4×400-meter relay team.

The team, comprised of sprinters Dunn and sophomores Jahzelle Ambus, Macaulay Wilson and Jalen Tims, was fresh off an easy victory at the Linfield meet in the 4×100- meter relay. The four women continued their success, get- ting the victory with a strong 3:53.3, falling short of the 3:52.5 school record.

In the women’s field events Lane performed strongly in the javelin with sophomore Gabrielle Head placing first with throws of 144’06″. Head’s
throw places her second in the nation among junior college athletes this season.

On the men’s side of the draw, the Titans produced many strong finishes. One of those came from freshman Rohan Cain in the men’s 400-meter. Cain ran 49.68 seconds, which was enough for an easy second-place finish.

In the 5,000-meter, Titans freshman Efrain Jamieran a career race, breaking his person- al best in the 5,000, running in 15:39.68 to finish 14th in a fast-paced race.

“Efrain quietly had a monster meet,” O’Connor said. “If I’m nominating anybody for athlete of the week on the men’s side … he’s at the top of the list.”

The field events were also solid for the men, as sophomore Zach Olivera tied for first with California State’s Kyle Maxwell in the men’s pole vault with a vault of 15’7″.

Freshman Diego Gonzalez also produced a strong finish in the men’s long jump, tying for second with a final jump of 23’02.5″.

The Titans return home next weekend to compete in the Oregon relays at historic Hayward Field April 18 to April and said that he embraces the opportunity of the big upcoming meet, he is going to be cautious of over-working his athletes and wants to make sure they get proper recovery time.

“It’s always fun to compete at Hayward,” O’Connor said. “But we’re not at all putting extra emphasis on it. We’re looking at the bigger picture.”

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