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49ers kick off 2012 indoor track and field season at Run for the Dream meet in Fresno

The 49ers open the 2012 indoor track and field season Friday at the Run for the Dream meet in Fresno.

Jan. 19, 2012

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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track and field team kicks off the 2012 indoor season at the Run for the Dream meet in Fresno on Friday, Jan. 20. The meet gets underway at 1 p.m. in the Save Mart Center.

The Run for the Dream meet will take place at Fresno State's Save Mart Center on Friday. The track events for the University division begin with the women's 55-meter high hurdles at 1:08 p.m. and conclude with the men's mile relay at 6:20 p.m.

The field events, which will be held at the Livestock Pavilion, start with the men's triple jump at 12:30 p.m. and end with the men's high jump at 5 p.m.

The Long Beach State men's and women's track and field teams both had successful showings in 2011. The men's squad won its third Big West title in the last six years as they compiled 177.5 points at the championship meet. The women also had their best finish since 2008, placing fourth overall with 110.5 points.

Seventeen 49ers produced 23 all-conference honors with seven individual champions. Three athletes also went on to garner All-America status at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The Long Beach State men welcome back 22 letterwinners from last year's Big West championship team. Leading the way in the field events are Tyler Wallace (Pole Vault) and Ben Woodruff (Javelin), who both won the individual title in their respective events at the conference meet last year. The 49ers will also look for big results from senior Jacob Weintraub (Throws), who redshirted in 2011 after transferring from Washington State. Weintraub competed during the indoor season and posted the fifth-best shot put mark in school history (55-07.75). On the track, All-Big West performers Koree Hines (Hurdles), Chris Lawson (Sprints/Hurdles) and Heath Reedy (Distances) return for the 2012 campaign.

Senior Phylicia Johnson looks to lead the women after winning the 2011 Big West title in the long jump and finishing fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. Seniors Kristen Kiefer and Shakina Phillips will add experience in the hurdles. Phillips was an All-Big West performer in both hurdle events last year, while Kiefer earned all-conference honors in 2008. All three individuals rank among LBSU's all-time top 10 in the indoor 60-meter hurdles.

The 49er women will also be strong in the high jump with the return of senior Katrina Graves-Johnson. Graves-Johnson is a two-time NCAA West Preliminary qualifier and earned All-Big West honors with a runner-up finish at the conference meet last year. She currently ranks seventh in indoor school history at 5-07. The 49ers also welcome back Stephanie Armstrong, Janelle Coulter and Sara Macey.

Senior Rosa Del Toro looks to anchor the distance runners as she is coming off a stellar cross country campaign that culminated in her winning Long Beach State's first-ever Big West individual title. She also earned all-conference honors in the 1500-meter run during the 2011 track season and clocked in with the second-fastest indoor 3000m time in school history at 9:42.46.

The 49ers continue the indoor season next week when they send a split squad to USAF Academy, Colo., for the Air Force Multi-Events (Jan. 26-27) and the Air Force Team Challenge (Jan. 28), and to Seattle, Wash., for the UW Invitational (Jan. 27-28).



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