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LBSU kicks off Big West Championships with decathlon, heptathlon this weekend

The 49ers are set to compete in the Big West decathlon and heptathlon at Anteater Stadium this weekend.

May 2, 2012

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LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State track & field team heads back to Irvine this weekend as it opens the Big West Championships with the decathlon and heptathlon, May 4-5, at Anteater Stadium.

The 49ers have two athletes entered in the men's decathlon and four in the women's heptathlon. Mark Horist, Dillon Fox, Kristen Kiefer, Sara Macey, Wendy Izquierdo and Phylicia Johnson will all compete at Antetater Stadium this weekend. They will be going up against a tough field as UC Santa Barbara boasts the nation's heptathlon leader in Barbara Nwaba and the 11th-best decathlete in the West Region in Derek Masterson (7,558).

"I think we match up well with the field in the hunt for the team title," head coach Andy Sythe said. "This is a very important first event for us in terms of team scoring. We hope to set the tone for the rest of the meet."

The hepatathlon begins with the 100m hurdles at 2 p.m., while the decathlon starts with the 100m at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. The meet concludes on Saturday as the heptathlon continues with the long jump at 1 p.m. and the decathlon gets underway at 11 a.m. with the 110m hurdles.

Big West Multi-Events Schedule
Friday, May 4
Heptathlon: 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m
Decathlon: 100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400m

Saturday, May 5
Heptathlon: Long Jump, Javelin, 800m
Decathlon: 110m Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, 1500m

Long Beach State has claimed six Big West Athlete of the Week awards so far this season. Tyler Wallaceis the most recent winner as he earned the honor on April 24. Wallace was the top collegiate finisher and placed third overall in the pole vault at the Beach Invitational, clearing a season-high 17-03.50. His mark ranks second in the Big West, 18th in the West Region and 34th in the nation.

Ben Woodruffearned his third honor of the year on April 17, after winning the javelin with a record-breaking toss of 243-02 at the Big West Challenge in Fullerton. His mark was a school, conference, meet and stadium record. Woodruff currently ranks first in the Big West, fifth in the West Region and 11th in the nation.

Jacob Weintraubalso collected Big West Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors on March 27. Weintraub won the discus and finished third in the shot put at the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational. He is currently tops in the conference in the discus (178-02) and second in the shot put (58-07.25).

Rosa Del Torowas tabbed the Big West Women's Track Athlete of the Week on March 20. Del Toro finished third overall in the 1500m at the rain-shortened Aztec Invitational. Despite running in inclement weather, she clocked in at 4:29.36, just .32 seconds off her previous lifetime best. The Van Nuys native has continued to improve her 1500m time as she recently established a school-record 4:24.97 at the Steve Scott Invitational (April 29).

Rosa Del Toro highlighted the Steve Scott Invitational for LBSU as she established a school-record 4:24.97 to finish third overall in the 1500m. Katrina Graves-Johnson won the high jump, matching her career-high of 5-10.75. Jessica Barnard (800m, 2:10.13), Emily Cooper (200m, 24.41) and Shakina Phillips (400m Hurdles, 59.89) added lifetime bests to rank among the 49ers' all-time top 10 in their respective events. On the men's side, Tyler Wallace claimed the pole vault title (16-09.50), while Gabriel Hilbert was fourth in the 800m with a personal-best 1:49.41, ranking him sixth in school history.

At the Triton Invitational, Brandon Hierholzer took top honors in the pole vault with a lifetime-best 16-05.25 and Ben Woodruff was the runner-up in the javelin (228-03).

Long Beach State continues the Big West Championships next weekend with the field events (9 a.m.) and track events (2 p.m.) at Anteater Stadium, May 11-12.



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