Hundreds of athletes came to SF State’s Cox Stadium Friday, April 6 to compete in outdoor track and field event “The Distance Carnival,” marking the second home meet for the Gators, who had 26 runners competing.
In the women’s 10,000 meter run, Zuleima Jimenez placed seventh with a time of 36 minutes and 50.12 seconds. This time moved her into the Gators’ top five all-time list for the event. The event is equivalent to about 6.5 miles.
“The first time I ran it was in 40 minutes, so this is by far the best,” said Jimenez. “You’re kind of negative throughout the entire thing. Up until the last two laps you just want to quit…so you’re like oh my god just shoot me right now.”
The Gators’ success didn’t end there. In the women’s 100 meter dash, Hilary King placed fifth with a time of 13 minutes, .09 seconds, closely followed by Kayleigh Hendrix (13 minutes and .13 seconds) and Brittany Johnson (13 minutes and .15 seconds) who grabbed sixth and seventh respectively.
Other participants in the men’s 10,000 meter run included members of the SF State cross country team. Although the Gator men’s track and field team has not existed since 2004, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has allowed the team to compete in track events, but their results will not be officially recorded.
“Our guys really look forward to running fast times at track, they realize all the best teams are running track,” said head cross country coach Tom Lyons. “They don’t want to sit around and do nothing for nine months so they treat the spring as if they are a track team.
This mindset is what propelled Tyler Deniston to reach the Gators all-time list by grabbing third place, unofficially. His time of 31 minutes and 20.62 seconds was respectable considering it was his first time competing in the event.
“I’m pretty happy about my time it was first time running that race so there’s definitely room to improve,” Deniston said. “Because of Title XI we don’t have a men’s track team so it’s kind of unfortunate. Technically I’m third all-time, but I won’t be third all-time. Which is kind of silly. ”
The junior is gunning for the number one spot on the all-time list and hopes to run in the event in the future. Although the men’s times will not be officially acknowledged by the NCAA, the event marked triumphs for the both the men’s and women’s teams.