CLU’s track teams laced up their spikes and took to the track for the 98th Annual SCIAC Championships, hosted by California Lutheran University at Occidental College this past weekend.
The two-day competition started Friday with preliminary races and events that decided who would advance to the finals, which took place Saturday. CLU had a strong showing Friday with the Regals in third place and the Kingsmen in fourth by the end of the day.
The men’s team has floated in the middle of the SCIAC standings all season. They had some impressive individual performances on Saturday and garnered enough points to place fourth at the championships.
Only four Kingsmen finished in the top three on the final day of SCIAC Championships. Junior Dominick Allen ran a close 800-meter race and came up short by .61 seconds with a time of 1 minute, 53.77 seconds to place second. Junior Erik Fruth’s 110-meter hurdles race came down to less than .07 seconds as he also placed second with a time of 15.19 seconds.
Teammates James Laughlin and Roy Diaz came up huge in the discus throw. Laughlin took first with a throw of 43.74 meters and Diaz secured third with a throw of 41.81 meters.
Diaz also captured a first-place victory in the hammer throw with a distance of 50.84 meters. Diaz made the winning throw during the last throw of the day, a personal best for him.
The Regals were even more impressive and finished in second place when all the points were added and finalized. There were many top-three finishes across the board for the Regals.
Even though it was only her second meet of the year, freshman Allie Hadley stepped up with a first-place victory in the javelin throw. She threw 136 feet, 10 inches.
“I was really proud of what I accomplished. My goal coming into the meet was to throw 135 feet and to just stay relaxed. And that is exactly what I did,” said Hadley. “Standing on top of that podium representing my school felt amazing. I just feel so fortunate to have the support from my teammates over these past six weeks, especially the other throwers. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Freshman Amanda Hamilton put together a great showing in the triple jump and won the event with a distance of 11.75 meters.
In her final race, senior Lauren Kennedy placed second in the 100-meter hurdles and with a time of 15.25 seconds.
The Regals dominated the long distance races.
Junior Melissa Skiba owned her events and finished first in the 5,000-meter and 1,500-meter events.
“In the 5K, I knew that Lenore from La Verne would be extremely strong. In cross-country, she beat me at the SCIAC Championships, so I was prepared for a good fight in the 5K. My goal was to work with her and respond to her pace,” said Skiba.
The 1,500-meter race came down to Skiba and junior teammate Ashley Frese. Skiba was able to pull away from Frese in the final stretch to secure the win.
“Going into the 1,500, I knew that me and Ashley Frese would be the strongest competitors in the field, along with a CMS runner. Ashley and I pretty much knew that we could work together and finish in the top two,” said Skiba. “I was hopeful to win either the 1,500 or 5K.”
After the 1,500-meter race, Frese had to refocus and get prepared for a chance to seize a victory in the 800-meter.
“After taking second place in the 1,500-meter I was happy, yet not completely satisfied. I knew that I had a second chance in my next race,” said Frese. “Going into the 800-meter, I was pretty confident that I was capable of winning.”
Frese seized her opportunity and pulled out the victory with a time of 2:16.05 seconds, a new school record.
“Seeing teammates’ faces and coaches screaming my name from the insides of the track was very helpful, as I looked to them for reassurance. With 200 meters left, I knew that I had the race. As I approached that last 100 meters, I gave it everything I had and could not help but start smiling as I crossed the line,” said Frese.
Junior Lauren Rohach is one of the fastest Regals on the team, and she proved this yet again this weekend. She placed second in both the 200-meter and 400-meter races. She also placed third with her teammates Hamilton, Daniela Sullivan and Audrey Dow in the 4×400-meter relay.
She finally secured a first place finish in the 4×100 relay with teammates Hamilton, Kendall Sauter and Amy Galipeau. Galipeau was the anchor for the relay team and was more than thrilled when she crossed the line to complete the victory for her and her teammates.
“For me, I know that I have to cross the finish line not because I want to win, but because my teammates worked so hard to get the baton to me in the lead. The least I can do is finish for them and knowing that we finished first felt amazing,” said Galipeau. “At the end of the day, they are my family and I know they are always behind me.”
A few lucky Kingsmen and Regals will prep for the National Championships, which is set for May 23 through 25 in La Crosse, Wis. The participants will be announced after the last-chance qualifier commences on May 11.
Published May 1, 2013