University of San Francisco’s track and ﬁeld team came away from Saturdays meet with two individual wins, one in women’s 1500 meter race and the other in the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase. The Dons were competing in the 2012 Johnny Mathis Invitational, which took place under constant, heavy rainfall at San Francisco State University’s Cox Stadium.
Senior Nicole Bowler took care of the women’s 1500 with a time of 4:23.61 — just
fast enough for a new personal best, beating her previous time of 4:23.66 by 5
hundredths of a second. Bowler qualiﬁed for last year’s NCAA West Regional meet in the 1500 and will be looking to make her way to Austin, Texas for the 2012 regionals.
“Nicole looked great today,” USF head coach Helen Lehman-Winters said. “I
could not be more pleased with where she is at right now.”
Senior Jesus Romo brought in the other individual win for USF, destroying the competition with a nearly 30 second margin of victory in the men’s 3000 steeplechase. He completed the seven and a half laps of running, barrier jumping and splashing through a water obstacle in 9:19.75, running alone and unchallenged for most of the race.
“Jesus’s solo run was a good solid opener for him,” Lehman-Winters said. “The conditions were pretty darn cold and wet out here today and he essentially ran by himself the entire race.”
Several other events went well for the USF men’s team, particularly the javelin and 5000 meter run.
The Dons snagged two places in the top ﬁve in the javelin, led by freshman Robert Parker’s second place ﬁnish at 51.58 meters. Junior Alex Fowler followed with a distance of 42.39 meters for third place.
San Francisco ﬁnished ninth, tenth and twelfth in the ﬁnal event of the day, the men’s 5000. Sophomore Jordan Baker was the ﬁrst Don to cross the ﬁnish line, coming in at 15:24.26. Junior Jason Waldram ﬁnished the twelve and a half lap race just one hundredth of a second later at 15:24.27, with sophomore Jimmy McManus crossing just a few seconds after that at 15:29.66. Despite the cold temperature and heavy rainfall, both Waldram and McManus accomplished personal bests for the event.
Highlights from the day for the USF women’s team included a solid performance in the discus as well as two more personal bests in the 1500, aside from Bowler’s. Freshman Laticia Lonon threw the discus 34.21 meters, ﬁnishing ﬁfth. Sophomore Samantha Hamilton achieved her personal record in the 1500 at 4:50.72, while freshman Kailey Uland pulled off the last PR at 4:57.27. Senior team captain Hillary Kigar also performed well in the 1500, running a 4:49.79 for sixth place in her section.
“I was injured for almost all of last year, so it’s just really exciting to be racing
again,” Kigar said.
The senior long distance runner from Sacramento, Calif. will be running the 5000
meter race next weekend in the 2012 Bulldog Invitational in Clovis, Calif. She’s looking to make it to the West Regional meet in the 5k.
“I kind of know how fast I need to run in the 5k to be able to go to that meet, so
that’s pretty much the goal,” Kigar said. She’s hoping to drop about 18 seconds off her current PR in order to qualify.
“I went two years ago. Before I had a year of being injured I was able qualify, so I
want to get there again.”
The women’s team has a goal of sending ten girls to the regional meet, as well
as a goal of having every team member qualify for the conference meet. USF won the WCC conference meet last year, and the Dons are expecting to compete with BYU for the title again this year.
“We want everyone on the team to go to that so we can represent,” Kigar said.
The 5’0” senior will still have the opportunity to race at USF for one more year
due to red-shirting the 2011 season because of injury. Kigar’s cross-country and track experiences have had up’s and downs, but it’s the good days that have stuck with her the most.
“Most runners can count on their hand the number of really awesome races that
they’ve had, where everything went right from the beginning to the end. It’s always the best when you have one of those days. You don’t feel the pain of what’s going on and you do something you didn’t think your body could do. You go faster than you thought you could and afterwards, you’re ready to take on anything.” Kigar said.