EDINBURG, Texas – CSU Bakersfield's men's and women's track and field teams collected four medals at the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships on Friday. The Roadrunners claimed one WAC title for gold, two silvers, and a bronze on Day 3 of the conference meet.
“The jumpers were terrific today,” said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, Director of Track and Field at CSUB. “Tim won his first WAC high jump title. Justin picked up two medals and Julianne recorded the highest women's WAC finish to date. Overall, it was a very good day. I'm very proud of these efforts.”
Mansur-Wentworth went on to applaud some other CSUB performers as well: “Emmett got his second All-WAC award and Gabe and Curt are through to the finals. Jose injured his foot after big PRs in the long jump and wasn't able to compete well in the high jump. I'm pleased and looking forward to the final day.”
The highlight of the day for CSUB was seeing top-seeded sophomore Tim Van Horn earn the WAC title in the high jump. Van Horn was the only man to clear 6-08.75 on Friday as he took the gold medal and First Team All-WAC honors. Teammate Justin McKinley was close behind at 6-04.75 and placed third to earn bronze and First Team as well.
Earlier in the day, McKinley earned a silver medal in the long jump with a big PR in Texas. Despite coming up a mere two inches short of the WAC title, the senior's mark of 24-02.25 is seventh-best in CSUB history and the best by any ‘Runner since 2001 (Durrell Lewis). The native of southern California also earned First Team All-WAC honors for his jump.
Joselito Flores, who was unable to make a mark in the high jump due to his foot injury, had a seven-inch PR in the long jump earlier in the day. The junior's mark of 23-01.75 was good enough for seventh place and leaves Flores a mere inch outside of CSUB's Top 20 all-time list in the event.
Redshirt senior Emmett Wirtz came up just a few feet shy of his hammer throw PR on Friday, but the Bakersfield native threw well enough for fourth place. Wirtz's mark of 157-09 was strong enough to earn him Second Team All-WAC honors while sophomore Luis Mendez also scored points with an eighth-place finish (140-01).
Freshman Curt Threlkeld was one of three 'Runners who qualified for the finals with a prelim run on Friday. The Bakersfield native posted a fourth-place finish in the 800m prelims in a time of 1:57.34. Redshirt sophomore Gabe Gaeta will also compete finals after he too placed fourth on Friday with a time of 53.99 in the 400m hurdles.
CSUB's men have never scored more than 45 points in any of their first three trips to the WAC Outdoor Championships. The ‘Runners sit at 40 points at the end of the third day of competition and are in strong position to set a new standard for the program.
Freshman Julianne Finch recorded the highest placing at the WAC Championships in CSUB's women's track history with a silver medal in the pole vault. Finch's mark of 12-03.50 actually tied with the leader, but UMKC's Christy Nell cleared the height on her first attempt to win gold. Nonetheless, Finch brings home First Team All-WAC honors, the first of her young career.
Freshman Falon Wilson posted a huge PR (14.38) in the 100m hurdles. The time moved Wilson up to sixth in CSUB history while she qualified seventh overall for Saturday's finals. Susannah Vera PR'd in the 400m hurdles (1:08.17), but was just over a second away from qualifying for the finals as she finished 10th.
The ‘Runner women have never scored more than 24 points at WAC Outdoors since joining the conference in 2014. CSUB has 10 points after the third day of competition, but likely has points to come in multiple events on Saturday.
CSUB and the rest of the WAC will close out the 2017 WAC Outdoor Championships on Saturday with one final day of competition. Micaiah Lugo will get the day started with the women's hammer throw at 9 a.m. (PT) while the 4x100m relay will kick off the running events at 3 p.m. For full results from Friday's competition, open the linked PDFs above.