March 1, 2012
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track and field team begins the 2012 outdoor season this weekend when it hosts the Beach Classic, March 2-3, at Cerritos College.
The women's hammer (11 a.m.) and men's hammer (2 p.m.) will be the only events contested on Friday. The meet continues on Saturday with a full day of action. The field events get underway at 9 a.m., while the track events are slated for a 10 a.m. start. The final event on the schedule is the last heat of the men's 5000m at 7:10 p.m.
A GLANCE AT THE BEACH CLASSIC
The Beach Classic features student-athletes from 28 different schools. Among the Division I programs that will be competing are USC, Cal State Fullerton and Loyola Marymount.
Highlighting the weekend for the LBSU men are reigning Big West champions Tyler Wallace (pole vault) and Ben Woodruff (javelin). Wallace currently ranks fourth in the school record books at 18-00.50 as he became the fifth 49er in program history to clear 18 feet last year, while Woodruff is third on the all-time list (221-01).
Sam Jeter returns to the track in the 400m hurdles after sitting out the 2011 season with an injury. Jeter enters his senior year with Long Beach State's second-fastest 400H time (50.24). Koree Hines, who is coming off an indoor record-breaking performance in the 60m hurdles, is set to compete in the 110H on Saturday. Newcomers Jacob Weintraub (shot put) and Jahmani Lockett (400m) are also looking to build off strong indoor campaigns.
On the women's side, Phylicia Johnson will be competing in the long jump and 100-meter hurdles. Johnson won the Big West title in the long jump last year and ranks fourth in school history in the short hurdles (13.86). Multiple All-Big West performer Shakina Phillips is also entered in the 100 and 400 hurdles. Katrina Graves-Johnson is looking to lead seven 49ers in the high jump as she was the runner-up at the conference meet in 2011.
MALDONADO SETS NEW STANDARD
Matt Maldonado set a new standard at Long Beach State as he became the first 49er in program history to run a sub-four mile at the MPSF Indoor Championships on Feb. 25. The Modesto, Calif., native claimed the conference title with a lifetime-best 3:59.08. Maldonado broke his own school record for the third time in 2012. He previously notched the top mark at the Husky Classic (4:00.70) and the UW Invitational (4:03.39).
In addition to Maldonado's performance, LBSU established seven other school records over the course of the 2012 indoor season. Koree Hines ran the program's fastest 60-meter hurdle time at 8.09 seconds. On the women's side, Jessica Barnard broke an 11-year old 49er record in the 800m, crossing the finish line in 2:10.40 at the MPSF Championships. Kristen Kiefer also totaled an LBSU-best 3,585 points in the pentathlon.
Phylicia Johnson bettered her own school record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.46), while Katrina Graves-Johnson tied the top mark in the high jump, clearing 5-11.50. Rosa Del Toro registered a program-best 4:50.75 in the mile run and 9:34.81 in the 3000m. She was also a member of the record-setting distance medley relay team (11:48.81), that included Chelsea Hairanian, Catherine Martinez and Jessica Barnard.
Long Beach State returns to action next weekend when it heads to Fullerton for the Ben Brown Invitational, March 9-10. The NCAA Indoor Championships will also be held, March 9-10, in College Station, Texas.
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