While the San Francisco State men’s team competed in its second meet of the season after a 15-year hiatus, the main occupants of Cox Stadium — the SF State women’s team — is climbing up the national ranks.
On Tuesday, the Gators earned a No. 4 ranking in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Division II National Rating Index, following a strong showing at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento.
In discus, 5-foot-10 senior do-everything thrower Courtney Massengale finished fifth with a throw of 48.44m (158 feet, 11 inches), good for a provisional mark, as well as the second-best throw in the nation this outdoor season. The Yuba City native also placed ninth in javelin with a distance of 41.95m (137 feet, 7.6 inches) for another provisional qualifier, and for good measure, PR’d in shot put with a 13.70m (44 feet, 11.4 inches). The all-around performance was good enough to earn Massengale the school’s Female Athlete of the Week honor.
During the meet at Hornet Stadium, Timarya Baynard took first in the 400m with a time of 54.51, and Jazmine Smith clocked a 55.66 to take fifth, in the field of 60. Those were both good for provisional qualifying marks. The 4×100 relay team of Baynard, Alexis Henry, Maya Cook and Smith rolled to a second-place finish with a time of 45.56, narrowly finishing behind the team from Cal.
The team of Baynard, Henry, Smith and Monisha Lewis took home the top prize in the 4x400m, clocking a 3:38.39, over five seconds faster than the second-place group. The time is an easy automatic qualifier, as well as the fastest time in the country and the second-fastest in program history.
Lewis ran an 11.85 in the 100m, placing fourth in the field of 105 runners, and earning a provisional qualifier with the second-fastest time in the nation this season.
Bibiana Enriquez set a personal best in the 1500m (4:43.91), and ran a 2:16.13 in the 800m, the fifth-fastest time in the nation this season.
Senior sprinter Kennedy Hardemion recorded a personal-best 1:02.89 to finish fourth in the 400m hurdles with eighth-best time in SF State history.
Freshman Nicole Sainz, out of Sacramento-Inderkum, recorded a 3.10m in pole vault, matching the sixth-best mark ever by a Gator.
SF State Baseball: The Gators moved up three spots to No. 17 in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll, and sit at 12-1-1 on the season, winning three straight against Cal Poly Pomona on the road before suffering their first loss of the season in the series finale.
San Francisco State is batting .315 as a team, with eight players hitting .300 or better. The Gators have hit a dozen home runs, with six of those coming from the bat of senior first baseman Harley Lopez, who last year was a CCAA Honorable Mention selection in his first year with the program. Lopez, a transfer from Bakersfield College where he played two seasons, is hitting .280 in 14 games this season, but owns a slugging percentage of .680 — highest on the team — and has walked 15 times to 12 strikeouts. His six home runs rank second in the CCAA.
On the mound, junior righty Jack Higgins and sophomore Joshua Romero are tied for eighth in the league with three wins apiece. Freshman Dylan Madole’s three saves are tied for fourth among CCAA pitchers.
SF State’s next series is slated for March 22-24 at home versus Cal State Dominguez Hills.
USF Track: At the Hornet Invite, the Dons saw Chris Olley win the men’s 1500 meters, aided by teammate Jack Rowe, who led the pace and helped carry Olley past Cal’s Takeshi Okada. Olley finished more than a second and a half ahead of Okada, with a 3:47.43. Rowe finished sixth, with a 3:50.09.
Senior Dana Klein, a Yale transfer, finished fifth in her secondary event, the 800m, placing fifth in a field of more than 50 with a 2:12.33. British junior Megan Davies came in ninth with a 2:15.73 to give San Francisco two in the top-10, matching the Golden Bears.
Freshman sprinter Faith Cardenas set a personal best with a 57.88-second 400m, placing among the top-20. Australian graduate student Samantha Lind cracked the top 10 with her time of 56.50, less than two seconds behind the winner — SF State’s Baynard.
ART U Baseball: The Academy of Art baseball team tallied a pair of dramatic wins this past weekend, but split the four-game series with Holy Names at Laney College.
The Urban Knights’ two wins came in a doubleheader sweep on Saturday, with an extra innings win in game one and a walkoff home run by junior shortstop Justin Summers in game two.
In game one, junior utility Angel Mora went 4.2 innings on the mound, striking out five and walking two while allowing two runs, but it was his work late in the game with the bat that was the main attraction. Mora tallied the game-winning run-scoring single in the 10th inning, making a winner out of newly named PacWest Pitcher of the Week Gonzo Rios, after he turned in 5.1 scoreless and hitless relief innings.
Game two, a scheduled seven-inning affair, came down to the final frames. A squeeze bunt put Holy Names up 1-0 in the top of the fifth, but in the bottom of the sixth, a Donnie Gardiner pinch-hit single to right knotted things up at 1-1.
On an 0-1 offering in the bottom of the seventh, Summers cracked a solo shot to left, his first of the year. After the weekend, Academy of Art sits at 11-7, and 3-4 in PacWest play. The Urban Knights are now seventh in conference standings.
ART U Track: Mobolade Ajomale earned yet another major award, as he was named the Division II Indoor Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by theU.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on March 13.
Ajomale won his third consecutive 200m title, finished runner-up in the 60m, and contributed to Academy of Art’s third-place 4x400m relay team en route to becoming the High Point Athlete of the Meet at Indoor Nationals, and was named the USTFCCCA West Region Indoor Men’s Track Athlete of the Year. At the Hornet Invitational outdoor meet this past weekend, he scored a pair of outdoor provisional qualifying marks in the 100m and 200m, while Ombretta Picciole Minkue Meye scored a provisional qualifier in the 100, and French graduate student Camille Jouanno won her triple jump with a provisional qualifying mark of 40-7.75 (12.39m).
Jouanno added a long jump of 18-8.875 (5.71m) in her final attempt to slot into fifth in the country, and came in third in the 100m hurdles with a 14.22, another Outdoor Nationals qualifying mark.
ART U Men’s Basketball: Junior forward Andrija Blatancic earned D2CCA All-Region Second-Team honors, after earning a All-PacWest First-Team nod.It was the first time in ART U men’s basketball program history a player has been awarded All-Region honors. Blatancic shot a team-leading 54.2 percent from the field, averaged a team-leading 17.8 points per game, pulled down a team-high 8.8 rebounds per game and added 21 steals for a team that went 11-17 overall, and 11-11 in conference, dropping their PacWest Conference Tournament opener to Azusa Pacific on March 7 in the program’s first-ever playoff game.
ART U Softball: The Urban Knights had to wait through a sopping first month filled with rainouts, but over the weekend, they completed a home sweep of Notre Dame de Namur in their first two games at Mission Blue Field on March 16.
Up 7-2 after rallies highlighted by triples in each of the first two innings, ART U claimed an 8-3 victory in the opener. Then, in game two, another dominating pitching performance from sophomore Celia Lopez (2-1) was backed up on offense by three extra-base hits from star freshman utility player Nikki West, propelling the Urban Knights to a 4-1 win.