Courtesy photo

In her final opportunity to compete before the national championships, Sharon Day didn’t let herself down.

The Cal Poly senior won the women’s high jump Saturday afternoon at the West Regional hosted by Cal State Northridge with a mark of 6 feet, 1 « inches – a meet record.

“I’m happy with the height I jumped,” said Day, who on May 17 at the Big West Conference Championships (also at the Matador Track Complex) met an Olympic “A” standard necessary to compete in Beijing by clearing 6-4 _.

“It’s more of just a stepping stone to the big show,” Day said of Saturday’s importance leading up to the national championships, held June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Day topped a pair of Arizona sophomores, Elizabeth Patterson and Jasmin Day – Sharon Day’s sister. Both Wildcats cleared 5-11 ¬.

“It’s always fun,” Day said of jumping against her sister. “We both kind of add a little motivation for each other, and can be encouraging to each other.”

Though none of the other 14 Mustangs chalked up a top-five finish necessary to earn an automatic bid to national competition, five came in the top 12 to warrant consideration for at-large bids, which will be given in descending order using the national best marks list applied to athletes from the four regional meets.

The Mustangs qualifying for at-large consideration were junior Evan Anderson, who came in sixth in the men’s 1,500 meters, with a season-best time of 3 minutes, 45.03 seconds; junior Tre’dale Tolver, seventh in the men’s 100, at 10.64; freshman Jasmine Pickett, ninth in the women’s long jump, at 19-2 «; sophomore Carl Dargitz, 11th in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase, with a personal-best 8:58.6; and junior Julieann Dufresne, 12th in the women’s shot put, at 48-8 _.

Tolver’s clocking came a day after he ran a lifetime-best 10.48 in the preliminaries.

“Going into it, mentally, I had decided to approach the prelims like they were the finals and attacked it like it was the last race of the year for me,” Tolver said.

At-large bids are expected to be awarded early this week.

“I did what I could,” Tolver said of the finals. “Obviously, I wasn’t satisfied with the results I ended up with, but it was a great experience just to run against the fastest athletes in the western U.S.

“It was an electrifying environment, with all the Pac-10 schools and all the WAC schools,” he added. “There was a very high intensity on the track – everybody out there was fighting for it.”

Day, the 2005 women’s high jump national champion, said she’ll train a “little bit harder” this week than the last before tapering off a bit to be fresh for Iowa.

“Anyone on any given day can compete with me,” Day said. “But for the most part, I just need to go out and focus on what I need to do.”

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