By Erin Chessin
Track and field coaches Sarah Ingram and Scott Pesch were frustrated to find that very few of the athletes they entered into two Division I track meets made it.
They entered a total of 13 HSU athletes into two prestigious Division I track meets; the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and the Stanford Invitational.
“The ones we entered who didn’t make it had very strong marks,” Ingram said. “It’s really surprising.”
Four women, Ariel Oliver, Alyssabeth DeJerez, Marisa McCay and Kori Gilley, qualified for Texas Relays, hosted by University of Texas in Austin. No men qualified for Texas Relays.
Ingram and Pesch entered in the same four women they had entered into Texas Relays into Stanford Invitational as a backup in case their entries were rejected. Three more women were entered into Stanford Invitational. Two high jumpers, Ellie Earl-Rouse and Brailee VandenBoom, qualified.
Ingram said distance events at Division I tournaments, such as the 800, the 1500, the 5k and the 3000 meter steeplechase, are highly competitive and are tougher to get into. When junior Tatiana Gillick did not qualify in the 1500 meters with her impressive 4:31, Ingram and Pesch were shocked.
“That was like a slap in the face,” Ingram said. “If you have a better mark than somebody, you deserve to be there.”
Both coaches expressed that division 1 track and field meets often favor division 1 over division 2 athletes when they receive the entries.
Luckily, six males and four females made it into the entries for Stanford Invitational.
Mario Kaluhiokalani, a sprinter on HSU’s track team, will be racing for the second year in a row at Stanford Invitational this weekend.
“Last year I only made it for the 110 meter hurdles,” Kaluhiokalani said. “I’m hoping to get a provisional mark in both my events this weekend.”
Kaluhiokalani will be running the 110 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles at Stanford Invitational.
While ten athletes will be competing in Palo Alto and three in Austin, Texas the rest of the track and field squad will be competing in San Francisco at the 2017 San Francisco Distance Carnival.
The meet will be hosted by San Francisco State on Friday, March 31 through Saturday, April 1, 2017.
One athlete is actually competing at both Stanford Invitational and San Francisco Distance Carnival. Junior transfer Corey Berner said he is looking forward to running the 100 and the 200 meters at Stanford and the 4 by 100 meter relay at San Francisco.
“It’s definitely going to be a busy weekend. There’s going to be good competition at both meets,” Berner said.
The sprinter is aiming to get pulled to fast times in his events since he will be running up against Division I athletes.
“Stanford will definitely be my main focus,” Berner said. “The competition is there at Division I tournaments.”
Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays