Credit: Eyasu Betwos | Cal Poly Athletics

While Cal Poly Track and Field is coming off an impressive showing at the Big West Championships, some of the team’s biggest accomplishments came before the conference showdown.

Individually, multiple Mustangs set school records throughout this track and field season. 

Amongst them, redshirt sophomore Aidan McCarthy has been a standout, breaking a 53-year-old school record in the men’s 800m, as well as setting records in the men’s 1,500m and the men’s indoor mile. 

Another has been freshman Rory Devaney, who broke the 62-year-old school record in the men’s hammer throw in his first season at Cal Poly. 

The sprinter duo of Jadyn Snaer and Shelby Daniele have also been a force as teammates this season, breaking the women’s 60m and indoor 200m records, respectively.

In terms of school records, it has been a historic season for Cal Poly track and field. For context, here’s a list of the individual school records set this season:

  • Jadyn Snaer, women’s 60m (7.51) Air Force Ralph Lindeman Invitational
  • Melody Nwagwu, women’s indoor long jump (19ft, 3.5 in.) UW Invitational
  • Shelby Daniele, women’s indoor 200m (24.69) Don Kirby Elite Invitational
  • Carissa Bucholz, women’s indoor 5,000m (16:23.14) Husky Classic
  • Aidan McCarthy, men’s indoor mile (3:59.42) BU Last Chance Invite
  • Rory Devaney, men’s hammer throw (202 ft, 4 in.) West Coast Relays
  • Aidan McCarthy, men’s 800m (1:47.24) Bryan Clay Invitational
  • Aidan McCarthy, men’s 1,500m (3:39.56) Oxy Invitational

Daniele, the school record holder in the women’s indoor 200m, described the feeling of breaking the record as “insane.”

“I feel like once I was able to run that time and I saw [the time] on the scoreboard, I thought, ‘no way, that’s insane,’ because the last three years, I haven’t been able to hit those times,” Daniele said. 

Competing in his first season in the discus and the hammer throw at Cal Poly, Devaney set the school record in the hammer throw, an event he began this year. 

“I kinda took myself by surprise with that one,” Devaney said. “I didn’t really have goals that high for hammer, so that was definitely eye-opening. When you don’t even realize that you’re gonna do something like that and then it happens, it’s a very different kind of satisfaction.”

McCarthy, who has set three school records this season, credits the team’s preparation and practice structure for its success.

“Everything was set up to build off of the next week, and one month was set up to build up to the next month,” McCarthy said. “At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing… you have all those months of build-up that you’ve already done and then you can be even more confident going into conference and regionals.”

One of the three records McCarthy set was for the men’s indoor mile, where he became the first Mustang ever to run a sub-four-minute mile.

“I went into the indoor season with a sub 4 mile as my main goal, and that was the race that we were going to try and do as much as we could,” McCarthy said. “Going sub-four is something that I think a lot of people aspire to do at some point in their running career when they first start, so I was pretty excited to be able to do that with [Xian Shively].”

While he doesn’t get the record like McCarthy, Shively finished just behind McCarthy in the mile race at the Boston University Last Chance Invite at 3:59.74, becoming the second Cal Poly athlete to run sub-four minutes.

“I think the school record just comes from just racing to beat as many people as you can and trying to win the race,” McCarthy said about his accomplishments.

With the Big West Championships now in the rearview mirror, select athletes will await qualifications for the NCAA prelims.