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UC Irvine Track Scores a Number of Top Ten Finishes at Long Beach Invitational

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By Ashley Alvarez

UC Irvine Track and Field team concluded a jam-packed weekend at the Jack Rose Beach Invitational on Saturday, April 21, in Long Beach. Not only were personal records set, but the Anteaters’ Persis William-Mensah and Jhamani Long placed amongst the top 10 in their respective fields, bringing accolades to UCI.

The track team kicked off the weekend by attending two separate invitationals both held on Thursday April 19. The first half of their day was spent at Pacific Coast intercollegiate invitational in Long Beach, where junior Omar Valenzuela led the ‘Eaters with a 13th place finish in the discus earning a PR of 169-01, which is just six inches shy of the No. 10 record in program history.

Continuing in the streak, junior Paul Resong took 13th in the 200m with a personal best of 22.32 shaving of .21 milliseconds, and on his tail, promising freshman Tariq Harness placed 21st with 23 seconds flat.

Ending the meet on a happy beat, sophomore Alan Tantiwassadakran took 22nd place in the 110m hurdles setting a season best of 15.48, which is 10 seconds shy of his 2017 personal best of 15.38. On moves the team to their latter meet of the day, the Bryan Clay Invitational, in Azusa, Calif. where freshman Ravi Sharma placed 10th in the ninth heat, shaving 30 seconds of his previous time and coming in at 15:32.57.

Unfortunately for these ‘Eaters, the competition never ends. Thankfully the track team loves a good challenge.

On Saturday, April 21, the team participated in the Jack Rose Beach Invitational held in Long Beach, and our lady Anteaters stole the show. Senior Persis William-Mensah placed fourth out of 87 in the women’s 100m dash. She came in at 11.5, 10 seconds shy of her personal best. William-Mensah continued her winning streak by earning a 23.88 and stealing third place out of 92, in a back to back race, the women’s 200m dash.

Accompanying William-Mensah in the 100m dash was freshman Mikayla Scott who set a PR of 11.95, coming in 28th place.
Other notable mentions of the event included sophomore Iyana Cooksey who PR with a 14.66 in the 100m hurdles, shaving off nine milliseconds. Following in the PR setting streak, sophomore Brianna Villanueva sets a season best in the Discus event earning a 154’4.75.

Complementing the accomplishments of the women’s team, the men’s track team placed and set some PR’s of their own. Sophomore Andrew Woodruff took 12th place in the 400m hurdles and came in at 53.98, a personal record. He shed .13 seconds off his personal best time.

Subsequently, junior Asa Allen left it all on the track as he placed in the top 10 for the second time last weekend, tieing for seventh place in the 110 hurdle event finishing with a time of 14.38 seconds. With the evening coming to an end, the men’s team finished strong. Junior Brandon Lucas led a team of ‘Eaters in the 200m race with a 21.91, securing him 12th place but only barely. Right on Lucas’s tale, junior Asa Allen settled for 13th coming in at 21.92 seconds. What a close call.

Looking forward, the UC Irvine track team prepares to compete this weekend and host the Steve Scott Invitational at our own Anteater Stadium on April 27 and 28.