Cal Poly Women’s Track and Field finished second while the men’s squad ended in third place in the 2023 Big West Conference Championships on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13 at Titan Track Complex.
The Mustangs hoisted five Big West Championship medals and saw 15 individuals and two relays earn All-Big West accolades.
The women’s side secured an impressive second-place finish after scoring 117.33 points with only 26 athletes competing, finishing behind Long Beach State.
Junior discus thrower Amaya Lopez-Fuller stole the show, as she was the only Mustang woman to win an individual event.
The Santa Clara native’s powerful 166-1 inch throw put her in rare air, becoming the third Mustang in program history to win a Big West title. After not competing in the event last year and placing third in 2021, Lopez-Fuller claimed her spot on the mountain top.
The Mustangs finished second and third in the pole vault, with freshman Lexi Evans placing second and junior Annie Hatzenbeler capturing third. Both women cleared 12 feet, 9.5 inches, and it was Hatzenbeler’s second straight All-Big West honor.
Junior sprinter Shelby Daniele placed second in the 200 meter race for the second straight year, and her time of 23.73 seconds was only 0.29 off the lead.
Daniele nearly secured All-Big West honors in the 100 meter, finishing .001 seconds behind third place. She also ran the second leg on Cal Poly’s second-place 4×100 relay.
The relay team, consisting of juniors Daniele, Anisa Rind and Jadyn Snaer, along with sophomore Melody Nwagwu, ran a 23.73-second race. That finish was just 0.25 seconds off the school record in the event and .06 seconds behind conference champion CSUN.
The women’s distance crew had success over the weekend, with junior Misty Diaz (800) and freshman Tatiana Cornejo (1,500) placing second after a tremendous season.
Diaz finished her Cal Poly career on a high note, running a season-best (2:09.07) in the 800 meter. She finishes as a two-time All-Big West honoree in the 800.
Cornejo ran a 4:28.05 to begin her Big West Championship career in the 1,500 meter.
Graduate Rachel Victor secured All-Big West honors, placing second in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase with a 10:21.50 time. The transfer leaves her mark on the program, ending No. 2 all-time in Cal Poly history in the event.
The Cal Poly men’s team finished in third place with a point total of 152, ending behind Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton.
Sophomore Aidan McCarthy continued his historic season, as the 800-meter specialist did it again, winning back-to-back Big West titles with a time of 1:47.14, breaking his school record in the event.
McCarthy became the first Cal Poly athlete to win back-to-back Big West titles in the event and the fifth repeat champion in conference history. He sits No. 6 in the West Region and No. 12 in Division I as he prepares for an NCAA West Prelim race.
Freshman Rory Devaney placed third in the hammer throw with a mark of 197-4 inches. Devaney now becomes the first Mustang to earn a podium finish in the hammer in over 20 years.
Devaney had a breakout year, becoming the school record holder in the event and now earning All-Big West honors.
Right next to Devaney in the javelin, freshman Baxter Kitteringham took third place and All-Big West honors marking a collegiate best of 203 feet, 10 inches.
The Mustangs finished first and second in the pole vault with junior Mathis Bresko leading the pack en route to his second straight conference title, clearing a lifetime best of 18 feet, 1 inch.
The mark placed him at No. 4 all-time in Cal Poly history and moved him into ninth in the West Region and No. 14 in Division I this season.
Senior Christian Valles finished second in the event (16-7.5), earning All-Big West honors for the first time in his career. Junior Kevin Schmitt also made All-Big West honors with a third-place finish in the high jump (6-9).
In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Anthony Guerra emerged victorious with his first Big West title. Guerra avenged his third-place finish from last year with a 10-second personal best time of 8:53.81.
Junior Colton Swinth won the 10,000 meters for the distance team, while sophomore Spencer Pickren and junior Rory Smail placed third in their respective events.
Swinth rode off into the sunset on day one with a Big West title in the 10,000-meter (30:31.78), an impressive feat for it being the first time he ran 10,000 meters on a track.
Pickren picked up All-Big West honors in the 1,500 meter, crossing with a time of 3:51.15 as his teammate, Smail, did the same in the 5,000 meters (30:31.78).
To cap off the 2023 Big West Championships, the 4×100-meter relay team of juniors Joey Souto and Wesley Salzman, senior Chris Davis and freshman MacGregor TeSelle captured third place with a finishing time of 41.23 seconds.
The Mustangs must wait to see who qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 24-27 at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium. The top 48 individual and 24 relay marks in the West Region will be announced at 10 a.m. PT Thursday, May 18.