Seven Cal Poly track and field athletes competed in the NCAA Track and Field West Preliminaries at the University of Arkansas from Wednesday, May 25 to Friday, May 27. 

On Wednesday, sophomore Aidan McCarthy advanced to the quarterfinals in the men’s 800-meter and sophomore Mathis Bresko nearly earned a spot in the NCAA Finals in the men’s pole vault.

McCarthy ran a new personal best of 1:49.22, which was good enough to capture fourth in his heat and 23rd across all six heats to earn him a spot in the quarterfinals on Friday. McCarthy ran the race in 1:48 in the quarterfinals, which was the second-fastest time in school history.

However, McCarthy was edged out by 0.08 seconds for the last automatic qualifier spot in his heat. McCarthy finished fourth in his heat and 15th overall, but only the top three runners in each heat advanced to the finals. 

Bresko established a new personal best of 17 feet, 4.25 inches in the men’s pole vault to finish 13th, just one spot short of reaching the NCAA Finals. 

Three other Mustangs competed on Wednesday as well. Senior Jake Ritter captured 22nd in the men’s 10,000 race with a 29:18.72 time. Junior Christian Valles tied for 35th in the men’s pole vault at 16 feet and 0.5 inches. Freshman Elliott Payne did not record a mark in the men’s javelin after committing three foot fouls on all three of his attempts. 

The final two Cal Poly athletes competed on Thursday, May 26. 

Senior Emily Hallett finished 21st in the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 197 feet and 6 inches. Although she did not qualify for the finals, Hallett broke her own school record earlier in the year with a throw of 200 feet and 11 inches during the Pacific Coast Invitational. 

Sophomore Melissa Navarro rounded out the Mustangs after capturing 45th in the women’s javelin with a mark of 133 feet and 6 inches. She was named a Big West champion after transferring to Cal Poly from Butte College.