Steeplechase record shattered during Distance Carnival

Supersonic sophomore civil engineering major Adriana Calva shattered school speed records once again at Cox Stadium during the ninth annual SF State Distance Carnival Friday, April 1.

After recently destroying Joanna Luk’s previous overall SF State women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase record – held since 2003 – by more than 11 seconds during February’s Johnny Mathis Invitational, Calva crushed her own 2016 school record on Friday by more than 12 seconds, setting the new all-time best at 10 minutes, 57.35 seconds.

“It felt good to go under 11 (minutes) for the first time,” Calva said. “I think running with the front pack helped really push me. I think overall, for distance, we did really well. A lot of girls in the 1500 ran (personal records).”

SF State junior Jessica Betancourt not only demolished her personal 3,000-meter steeplechase record by more than 45 seconds, she also landed herself SF State’s fourth-best time in school history by one second. The speedy recreation, parks and tourism major finished the event with an 11:25.21 time.

“I got a season’s best, which is pretty exciting,” Betancourt said. “Everybody kind of set the tone in the fifteen-hundreds. Basically every girl PR’d right before us, so it definitely amped us up.”

Fast freshman Kendra Butters hit a personal best for the season in the women’s 800-meter run. Butters finished in a swift 2:25.91, three seconds faster than her previous record.

“I PR’d for this season, which is really exciting, so I’m super happy about that,” Butters said. “My team did really well today, I’m so proud of all of them. I think we have a really good bond with each other right now. We all want each other to win just as badly as we do individually – it’s really a cool thing.”

Men’s cross country head coach Tom Lyons, who helps coach distance runners for women’s track and field, is the director of the two-day event. According to the SF State website, Lyons originally started the SF State Distance Carnival in Spring 2009 so “athletes from around the country could enjoy a fantastic day of distance racing.” The meet was so successful it enjoyed a 50 percent entrant increase only a year later in 2010, according to the SF State website. Lyons said somewhere around 1,700 athletes competed at the event this year.

“It’s an aggressive time schedule because we’re going to run out of daylight.” Lyons said. “It’s gotten a lot bigger. We’re probably an hour longer than last year just because we have about 200 more athletes. So it’s growing every year.”

Lyons even had a members of the men’s team run Friday. Men’s cross country meets are usually reserved for the fall, but that didn’t slow down junior Benji Preciado, who ran the men’s 10,000-meter in 31 minutes, beating his own personal best.

“I did well,” Preciado said. “I ran 31 flat, which is a minute and 20 second PR for me on the track from last year – last mile to go I just gave it all I had. I look forward to cross-country season in the fall. I’m just training and training and training, … trying to go All-American.”

SF State took home first place in the hammer throw Saturday behind the arm of Nicole Uikilifi. She set a mark of 52.06 meters, the fourth-longest throw in school history.