Gators track and field team compete in CCAA championships
The SF State women’s track and field team entered the Al Brenda Track Field at Cal State Stanislaus May 6 in fifth place in the Western Index Regional for outdoor competition. With nationals just a week away, the Gators needed the momentum at the California Collegiate Athletic Association championships.
With the CCAA championships May 5-7, the Gators had two weeks of rest coming into the tournament after a strong showing at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational at University California, Berkeley.
This proved to be vital as five Gators earned all-conference standings and fourth place overall, putting them in good position to make the national championships.
“I’m really proud of my girls, we finished strong,” said junior Alicia Chambers. “We were looking for third place overall. We got fourth as a team. I’m just really happy we came out and placed as high as we did.”
Chambers, unable to compete last year due to injury, rebounded in this year’s CCAA championships by earning 2nd place in the 400-meter relay with a time of 55.65 seconds.
She admitted that she was tired during the race, which caused her to lose her form and allowed senior Nancy Blake of Cal State Dominguez Hills to edge her out for first with a time of 55.07 seconds.
With Chambers’ storied successes, the biggest surprise of the weekend for SF State was freshman Kaylie Belk.
In her first year participating in the CCAA championships, Belk captured first place in the 800 meter with a time of 2 minutes, 14.82 seconds — marking her personal best and moving her to fifth in school history.
Belk said she had no other expectations for herself other than to take first.
“I had a good feeling and I’ve been positive,” Belk said. “I had two race plans and I went with one of them which worked. I was pretty sure I’d win.”
Belk was not happy with her personal record time earlier in the season, but believes that finishing first in her event in the CCAA championships was a good way to finish the season and give her confidence for next season.
In other action on the track, freshman Maya Cabiness took third place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 62.79 seconds, marking her personal best.
On the field, junior Felicia Terwilliger went leap for leap against Chico State senior Julianne Conrad in the high jump competition.
Terwilliger was edged by Conrad in the end for first place, but succeeded in reaching her highest clearance ever with five feet and six and a half inches.
This performance places her second in school history in outdoor competition.
In addition to Terwilliger’s success, All-American junior Luisa Musika earned second place in the shot put, discus and hammer throw events.
Musika, who was seen cheering her teammates from the sidelines, kept focused on her competition.
She attained a personal best time of 45 feet and 3.75 inches in the shot put.
According to Musika, clearing 45 feet was like getting a monkey off her back.
“This was one of my most memorable days,” Musika said. “I’ve been at a wall with shot put. I’ve been trying to break 45 feet for three years now and I finally broke it. I’m really excited and hopefully it gets me to nationals.”
With the national championships May 13 at Cal State Stanislaus, the track and field team is anxiously waiting to see who will represent the University.