SF State’s track and field team had a record-breaking weekend as it hosted its 10th Annual Distance Carnival March 30-April 1 at Cox Stadium.
Distance runner Adriana Calva celebrated breaking her own school record in the 3000-meter steeplechase, an NCAA provisional mark time of 10:39.06, by calling her father to share the news.
“I called him this morning and he said he’s saving up money for a plane ticket.” Calva said.
Calva said her father initially couldn’t contemplate her excelling in track and field — the recent success has helped her father understand her talent.
Despite her father’s hesitancy, she said it is her teammates who inspire her most.
“Seeing them just kind of like doing their thing I think motivates me to … get out of the track and represent SF State well.” Calva said.
Calva’s teammates added to the record-breaking weekend in their individual events as they competed with other athletes from across the country.
“There’s a lot of Division I schools here so we get a lot of competition,” discus athlete Courtney Massengale said.
Massengale set a meet record in discus, throwing 45.85 meters, the second best throw in SF State history. Her teammate Alex Jones took first in the shot put with a provisional mark of 13.54 meters, while placing third in the hammer with a throw of 48.77 meters.
“Alex did pretty well,” Massengale said. “I mean, she wants personal records so bad and it’s going to come to her.”
Devanique Brown, who also sprinted her way into 19th overall in the event, said the opportunity was most important to her.
“I think the Carnival brings in a lot of good competition and helps our team,” Brown said. “Instead of traveling far, we get to compete on our own home (turf) and to kind of have an advantage,”.
During her first race of the day, Brown built a strong lead in the 100-
meter hurdle, but fell back to second place at the last moment.
“I had a really good start; my finish, I didn’t hold it together as well as I could have,” Brown said. “I am proud of my performance overall and I know I can learn from it.”
Cross country coach Tom Lyons said the Distance Carnival is a great alternative to the Stanford Invitational, which occurs simultaneously.
“We schedule it the same weekend as the Stanford Invitational,”Lyons said. “If you don’t get into one of the first meets at Stanford you come here.”
Janelle Bandayrel, Vanessa Koontz, Atiya Harvey and Timarya Baynard gave an epic combined effort running the fastest 4×100 meter relay in school history with a time of 45.94 seconds. Baynard credits her confidence for the contribution she made to the team’s success.
“I didn’t have any doubts at all.” Baynard said. “I said a prayer and ate some good breakfast, chilled out, got my mind right, and all that good stuff.”
In Bandayrel’s first dash of the day she placed first, but her frustration was apparent when she approached the assistant coach of sprints and hurdles, Chioke Robinson.
“I had told him I was running flat,” Bandayrel recalled. “He told me it was good I realized that, but he preferred me not to realize that in the middle of the race.”
Bandayrel pushed forward and would compete in the final 100-meter dash and place first.
Finishing fifth in the 100-meter dash with a season best of 12.41 seconds, Vanessa Koontz said setting the momentum was what helped her performance and the team’s overall performance.
“I got to set the momentum for the rest of my team,” Koontz said.
SF State’s track and field team hope to carry the same momentum to the Azusa Pacific Heptathlon April 12.