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Long Beach State competes in California Relays Multi-Events, Aztec Invite this week

Long Beach State will compete in the Aztec Invitational on Saturday, March 17.

March 14, 2012

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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track & field team will send its multi-eventers to the California Relays Decathlon-Heptathlon, March 14-15, while the rest of the 49ers travel to San Diego to compete in the Aztec Invitational on Saturday, March 17.

The California Relays Decathlon-Heptathlon is set to run on Wednesday and Thursday. Start time for both days is 10 a.m. at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

The 49ers will compete in the Aztec Invitational on Saturday. The track events begin at 8:30 a.m. with the women's steeplechase, while the field events get underway at 9 a.m. with the women's javelin. The men's 4x400 relay is the last event scheduled with a 5:10 p.m. start time.

Matt Maldonado set a new standard at Long Beach State as he became the first 49er in program history to run a sub-four indoor mile at the MPSF Championships on Feb. 25. The Modesto, Calif., native claimed the conference title with a lifetime-best 3:59.08. That mark qualified Maldonado for the NCAA Indoor Championships where he finished 12th overall to earn second-team All-America honors.

Katrina Graves-Johnson notched her NCAA Indoor qualifying mark in the high jump at the Husky Classic on Feb. 11. Graves-Johnson tied a 12-year old school record when she cleared a lifetime-best 5-11.50. The Monrovia, Calif., native went on to tie for 16th at the national meet to earn honorable mention All-America recognition.

Long Beach State sent a small contingent of field athletes and distance runners to the Ben Brown Invitational in Fullerton last weekend. Shari Harris led the throwers with a lifetime-best 173-00 in the hammer, which ranks her third in school history. Jacob Fraser was the men's top finisher in sixth place with a distance of 175-01.

On the track, Rosa Del Toro won the women's 5000m, which featured a field of 94 competitors. Del Toro crossed the finish line in a personal-record 16:53.23, moving her up to No. 4 on LBSU's all-time list.

Ben Woodruff was named the Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Week on March 6, after a stellar performance in the 49ers' outdoor season opener. Woodruff won the javelin at the Beach Classic with a personal-record 235-04. He topped his previous lifetime best by 14 feet and was just two feet shy of the school and conference record. The reigning Big West champion threw an Olympic Trials "B" standard and enters the weekend ranked second in all of NCAA Division I.

In addition to Maldonado and Graves-Johnson, 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). 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 will send a group of hammer throwers to the USC Trojan Invitational on Friday, March 23, while it also makes its way to the UC Irvine Spring Break Invite on Saturday, March 24.



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