Credit: Owen Roberts | Mustang News, 2023

A week before Cal Poly Track and Field competed in the Big West Championships preliminary events, the team competed at the Steve Scott Invitational and Fresno State Invitational on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29.

Steve Scott Invitational

The Mustangs’ distance team turned in an impressive showing at the Steve Scott Invitational on the campus of UC Irvine on Friday, April 28.

The performance by the Mustangs was accentuated by graduate Rachel Victor, who ran the second-fastest women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. 

With the Big West Championships next week, the distance team went down to Irvine for a few tune-up races to track themselves against other Big West teams. 

Victor was the star of the meet for the Mustangs as she was 0.5 seconds away from breaking Diana George’s 2014 school record in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase (10:15.93.) This was a personal best for Victor. 

Four other top Mustang distance runners on the women’s side competed. 

Junior Misty Diaz and freshman Tatiana Cornejo placed seventh and eighth, respectively, with 4:49.66 and 4:49.92.

Graduate Sydnie Rivas was the other Mustang to participate in the meet, placing seventh in the 5,000-meter at 16:51.80. 

Fresno State Invitational 

Junior sprinter Shelby Daniele led the way as six athletes achieved personal bests in their events at the Fresno State Invitational.

Fresno State hosted the Mustangs, and Daniele ran a personal record of 11.58 seconds in the women’s 100-meter dash — the time tied her with teammate junior Jadyn Snaer for No. 2 on Cal Poly’s all-time list. 

She then lined up and ran another personal best in the 200 meter with 23.57 seconds to finish fourth and remain at No. 3 all-time. 

Daniele will go into the Big West Championships tied for second in both the 100 and 200 meters. 

With another lifetime best, sophomore Melody Nwagwu jumped to seventh all-time with a 40 feet and 9.5-inch triple jump to ensure third in the event.

Junior Quinton Alexander ran his personal best in the 800 meters at 1:50.95, nearly a second faster than his previous time. At the same time, fellow junior Joey Souto blew his personal best in the 400-meter hurdles out of the water, posting a new one at 52.99 seconds.

Freshman Riley Cash placed seventh in the 1,500 with a personal best time (4:33.12).

On the field, sophomore Corban Payne’s hammer throw mark of 193 feet, 5 inches is his new personal best. He remains fifth all-time in Cal Poly history in the event.

His hammer-throwing teammate, junior Noah Bultman, tossed his personal best right after with a mark of 186 feet, 6 inches, which moved him to eighth in Cal Poly’s history books. 

Outside of personal best marks, junior Kevin Schmitt was victorious in the men’s javelin (189-6) and sophomore Lariel Henley took fifth in the high jump (5-2.5.) 

Freshman throwing sensation Rory Devaney had another strong meet, placing second in the discus (169-4) in preparations for his first conference championships. 

The Mustangs will now focus on the Big West Championships hosted by Cal State Fullerton, which start Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. 

The times and marks of the first weekend will determine whether or not the athlete will compete the following weekend.