Women’s track & field makes history

The California Lutheran University women’s track and field team made history this weekend by claiming the team’s first ever SCIAC title. The 2014 SCIAC Championships were hosted by Occidental and held on April 2-3.

It was a team effort that brought the Regals the win this weekend with a dozen different athletes earning at least one All-SCIAC recognition over the weekend.

Junior distance runner Melissa Skiba claimed two SCIAC titles in her 800m run, and her 1500m run. For her 800m run she clocked in at 2:16.24, setting a new school record. For her 1500m run, she clocked in at 4:32.18, winning the event.

“It feels absolutely amazing for our team to win the SCIAC title. We have all been working so hard this entire year not only for ourselves, but also for one another. I am so proud to be a part of Cal Lu history and to be a part of such a positive, loving team,” Skiba said in an email.

Senior Lauren Rohach earned a 200m dash title with a time of 25.19 and also ran the 400m in 57.43, which was her personal best for that event. Rohach as well as senior Kendall Sauter, sophomore Amanda Hamilton and senior Amy Galipeau competed in the 4x100m relay, earning second place points for the Regals.

“For 4×100, we all just try to focus on keeping each other relaxed and just ready to go. I think it helps a lot that we’ve all been able to develop friendships off the track so we have a lot of trust in each other when it comes to our handoffs too,” Hamilton said in an email.

In the longer 4x400m relay, sophomore Daniela Sullivan, Rohach, Galipeau and Hamilton finished in 3:57.22 also coming in second and moving into third all-time at CLU.

In the javelin throw, sophomore Allie Hadley took first place with her 42.62m throw being the furthest by over five meters. Senior Brianna Panapa came in second with a throw of 37.04m. Panapa became a two-time All-SCIAC honoree and a four-time overall winner this weekend with a second place personal best shot put mark of 12.29.

Adding to CLU’s final score, senior Sheyenne Machida cleared 1.47m in the high jump.

On the men’s side, the track and field team placed fourth in the 2014 SCIAC championships finishing with 87 points behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne and Redlands.

Overall, nine Kingsmen earned All-SCIAC honors this weekend. Senior Eric Fruth earned his personal best in the 400m hurdles with a time of 55.70, which put him 9th all-time at CLU for that event.

Sophomore Michael Bassette became the 2014 SCIAC Shot Put champion on May 2 with a new lifetime best of 15.63m, winning the event by more than a meter. This also moved him into 6th all-time at CLU.

Senior James Laughlin placed third in the hammer throw with his career best of 46.95m, putting him in 10th all-time at CLU.

“I was not expecting to throw that well because of Occidental’s famously slick ring, but I kept pushing further with each throw and my final throw was my best,” Laughlin said in an email.

Also, in the 400m hurdles beside Fruth, sophomore Trevor Wood placed fourth and sophomore Tyler Erickson placed sixth.

This weekend brought accomplishments for the 2014 track and field team, especially the Regals, and the student athletes are proud of their teammates.

“I believe that we owe our win to one another. Everyone played their part and ran/jumped/threw knowing that they were counted on and that every effort counted toward our win. Every athlete fought to the end and left nothing behind. The support towards one another was tremendous, not only from the women’s team, but from the men as well,” Skiba said in an email.

“Everyone on the team has been training really hard all season and all the PRs the track team had over the past two days made it all worth it.  Congrats to our girls, our conference champ shot-putter Mike Bassett and to an outstanding season,” Laughlin said.

For the 2014 Regals, the NCAA Division III National Championships will be held in late May. CLU will have more opportunities to reach qualifying marks and improve on established ones and its next competition is the Occidental Invitational on May 10.


Lauren Ray
Staff Writer
Published May 7, 2014