The Cuesta College track and field teams will send six athletes, three men and three women, to the CCCAA State Track & Field Championships in San Mateo this weekend.
Riley Cooks (heptathlon and long jump), Jessica Armes (800 meters) and former Paso Robles High standout Lauren Silacci will represent the women, while Philip Hanley (high jump), Josiah Becker (pole vault) and Patrick Clemons (javelin) will represent the men.
Cooks qualified fifth in both the heptathlon and long jump for the state meet, which starts today and ends Saturday. She holds the Cuesta school record in the heptathlon with 4,299 points and ranks fifth in the state in the event. In the long jump, her season-best mark of 18 feet, 2 inches ranks third-best in program history.
Armes qualifed after finishing fifth at the regional finals with a time of 2 minutes, 18.71 seconds in the 800.
Silacci, being the 10th Cuesta athlete since 1996 to qualify for both the state track and field championships and state cross country championships, finished fourth at the regional final and boasts a season-best 11:27.19 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the fourth-best time in the state and second-best in program history.
On the men’s side, Clemons is the first two-time state qualifier for the Cougars since Ryan Tonneson in 2004. Clemons finished 10th in 2012, and qualified for this year’s finals after a fifth-place finish in the javelin at the regional finals. His season-best 191-7 mark is the best in the Southern California region and third-best in program history.
Hanley qualified fifth at regionals in the high jump and boasts a season-best 6-8 mark that stands as the fifth-best mark at Cuesta all time.
Becker’s best of 15-7 in the pole vault is second in the region and fifth in the state. He is also the 11th Cuesta pole vaulter to qualify in the state meet since 2001.
Cal Poly sending eight to NCAA West prelims
The Cal Poly track and field team will send seven men and one woman to the NCAA West Regional meet in Austin, Texas on May 23-25.
Big West Conference Male Track Athlete of the Year John Prader qualified in the No. 1 spot in the pole vault after clearing a school record 18-7 1⁄4 at the Cal Poly-UC Santa Barbara dual meet on April 27.
Laura Hollander, the only women’s qualifier, won the 5,000 at the conference meet with a time of 16:25.62 and is seeded 10th in the 5,000. Hollander, the Big West Conference Female Freshman of the Year, posted her season-best time of the year (15:53.74) at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 27.
Cal Poly also qualified two competitors in the men’s 10,000, Chris Frias and Sean Davidson, who both posted their qualifying times at the Stanford Invitational on March 29. Frias qualified with a 29:33.12, and won both the 10,000 (30:46.27) and the 5,000 (14:48.71) at the Big West championships. Davidson qualified with a 29:35.80 and finished second in the 10,000 at the Big West championships with a time of 30:47.07.
David Namnath qualified in the 400 after finishing second at the conference finals with a time of 51.62, and Blake Ahrold qualified in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 8:55.10 at the Stanford Invitational.
Junior John Guerrero qualified 32nd in the 800, while Jamison Jordan qualified in the 100 after posting a 10.53 against UC Santa Barbara on April 27.
The top 12 finishers in each event at the regional meet advance to the NCAA Championships on June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.
Sugishita qualifies for East regional meet
Former Arroyo Grande High standout Kenny Sugishita of South Carolina Upstate qualified for the NCAA East Regional meet for the second straight year in a row in the hammer.
He tossed a school record 197-11 at the Charlotte Invitational on April 19, ranking him 30th entering the regional meet.
He also finished in second place at the Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Championships with a toss of 193-6 last weekend.