Aidan Murtagh runs the men’s 1500 meter run during the Johnny Mathis Invitational track meet at SF State’s Cox Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2023. (Miguel Francesco Carrion / Golden Gate Xpress) (Miguel Francesco Carrion)
Aidan Murtagh runs the men’s 1500 meter run during the Johnny Mathis Invitational track meet at SF State’s Cox Stadium on Saturday, April 15, 2023. (Miguel Francesco Carrion / Golden Gate Xpress)

Miguel Francesco Carrion

SF State Track and Field team performs strong at Johnny Mathis Invitational

The two-day invitational featured two-year and four-year schools from across California, competing in distance running, sprints, javelin, long jump and more.

April 17, 2023

SF State’s track and field team gave a solid performance at their home turf during the Johnny Mathis Invitational on Friday and Saturday afternoon at Cox Stadium. The event featured both women and men’s clubs competing from campuses across the state.

Although the Gators didn’t have any participants throwing the hammer or launching the javelin on Friday, the team managed to make noise with their legs during numerous track events on Saturday.

Junior Evan Jackson qualified for the conference tournament after finishing seventh overall during the men’s 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.84. He was also one of four Gators to compete in the 1500-meter run, finishing 12th out of 49 total participants. 

“Today was a really good day for the team,” said Aidan Murtagh, a  distance runner for SF State. “We bounced back really well from our last home meet. We had really stand-up performances on both sides — men and women had a lot of great debuts for our team. Actually, a lot of the young runners, or maybe people coming back from injury, were doing really well.”

Murtagh competed in the men’s 1500-meter run alongside Jackson and freshman Dominic Clima, who emptied the tank during the final stretch of the race to secure a first-place finish in section 1. To do so, Clima was able to zoom past teammates Murtagh, John Eikemeyer and finally Brandon Johnson.

“It was nice seeing Brandon up there because this is his second race back from being hurt,” Clima said. “So I figured if Brandon could get up there and could do it, then so can I. I saw I had him so I just snuck past him and it was just cool to get there because I’ve never been that far.”

Clima, a former cross country star at Branham High School in San Jose, was very close to being tardy to the 1500-meter run after mistakenly thinking the starting official was on the opposite end of the track. 

“We’re like, ‘What the heck is this guy doing? We almost missed him and he ended up winning it,” Murtagh said.

Realizing his faux pas, Clima was able to quickly make his way back before the starter pistol was triggered.

The women’s 1500 meter section 1 race consisted of two SF State athletes, sophomore Olivia Renfro, who placed fourth in the competition and sophomore Sydney Seyer, who placed sixth. 

Preparation for the race was business as usual for Seyer.

“Making sure you get a lot of sleep or extra sleep and try to get 10 hours a night,” Seyer said. “Water hydration and food is really important, especially right before you race, you do not want to eat right before and you want to make sure you get enough by the end of the night. Just a good mentality. I walk myself through the race the night before and just go through the whole race.”

Seyer’s mentality was likely a key factor in her success this weekend, pushing her to a personal record for the 1500-meter race at a time of 5:40.06. 

Coming into the meet, Seyer was a week removed from getting her wisdom teeth removed and was afraid of falling short of her expectations.

“I was stressed and thought, ‘I am going to do bad,’ but honestly I did really good so I am happy with that,” Seyer said.“My teammates also did really well, one of them was out for most of the season and this was her first race so it was really great. It was so great having them to race with and I think they are both really happy with their performance.” 

Lamiah George, who ran in this event unattached, dominated the 100-meter race as she placed first in her section and the entirety of the 100-meter race. She displayed a time of 12.60, which beat out the second-best runner by .18 seconds. 

Unattached runners are common when an athlete is redshirting. They are prohibited from donning their school colors and can’t reveal their team affiliation to protect their eligibility years. Once one race is run in uniform, the NCAA counts it as an entire track season.

Out of the 18 contestants in the long jump, SF State freshman Gianna Myer placed third in the competition with a mark of 4.86  meters. Last weekend she finished 23rd in the competition, so this was a big jump for Myer, who stepped up for the team.

The track and field team heads to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Miller & Capriotti Athletics Complex on Thursday for the Mustang Invitational. The meet will be held on Friday, April 21.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Photo of Arman Archouniani
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Photo of Steven Rissotto
Steven Rissotto, Managing Editor
Steven Rissotto (he/him) is co-managing editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is a journalism major with an education minor. A native of Pacifica, Steven attended Archbishop Riordan High School, where he played baseball and wrote on their award-winning newspaper, The Crusader. Before transferring to SFSU in Fall 2022, he attended Skyline College for two years and wrote for The Skyline View. He also covers the San Francisco Giants for SF Giants Baseball Insider on Sports Illustrated.  In his spare time, Steven enjoys cracking jokes, watching documentaries and sports, reading biographies and recording his baseball podcast, RizzoCast.
Photo of Miguel Francesco Carrion
Miguel Francesco Carrion, Visuals Editor
Miguel Francesco Carrion (he/him) is a fifth-year photojournalism major and Asian American studies minor. While he claims to be a country-singing, Bronco riding cowboy in another universe, he is currently serving as the visuals editor for the Golden Gate Xpress. Outside of school, he works as a freelance photographer and videographer, and his work has appeared in BBC North America, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Positively Filipino Magazine and The Filipino Channel. When not working, you can find him at The Pub or in the back of his friends’ cars belting Zach Bryan lyrics out of tune.

Golden Gate Xpress • Copyright 2024 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Comments (0)

All Golden Gate Xpress Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *