16:34 PM

Cougar Track & Field Send Record Number of Athletes to Nationals

Cougar Track & Field Send Record Number of Athletes to NationalsCoach Steve Scott's Cal State San Marcos track & field team is sending a record 27 athletes to the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in Marion, IN.The meet, which will take place from May 27-29, will feature all the best athletes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).  To gain entry, an athlete must either meet the "A" standard (set by the NAIA prior to the season) for an event, or meet the slightly less strict "B" standard and be selected by his or her coach to attend.  The standard may be met at any time during the spring season.Eleven athletes from the CSUSM men's team and 16 from the women's team have met either the "A" or "B" standard in at least one event and will participate at Nationals.Leading the way on potentially the best men's team in the program's 11-year history are Brett Campfield and Anthony Harbor.  Campfield, a junior who transferred from Princeton University, is currently ranked #1 in the 1,500-meter run with a best time of 3:44.77, and he's ranked 2nd in the 800-meter at 1:49.47.  Harbor, a senior transfer from Cerritos College, is ranked 2nd in the 110-meter hurdles at 14.18 seconds, and 3rd in the 400-meter hurdles at 51.83 seconds.  Both Harbor and Campfield will also run on the #3-ranked 4x400-meter relay team along with Nicholas Stein and Thomas McDougald.  Stein will run in the 800-meter as well, where he is ranked 8th, and McDougald will run in the 100-meter as a "B" standard qualifier after missing the "A" mark by 1/100th of a second.A pair of stars from the cross-country season, Dave Edwards and Muluken Beressa, will also be competing in multiple events at Nationals.  Edwards is ranked fifth in the 1,500-meter, while Beressa is ranked 17th in the 5,000-meter.  They will also join Stein and Pat Fitzgerald on the 15th-ranked 4x800-meter relay team.Distance runner Western Nelson will participate in two events as a freshman: the 10,000-meter, where he is ranked 10th, and the 5,000-meter, where he is ranked 18th.  Chris Capeau will also compete in the 10,000-meter as a "B" standard qualifier.In the field, Scott Jeffers will compete as a "B" qualifier in the javelin.On the women's side, the 4x400-meter relay team of Monika Valenzuela, Lucia Asbury, Krystle Osby, and Brianna Murdoch leads the way with a #5 ranking with a time of 3:49.74.  Individually, Valenzuela is ranked 8th in the 400-meter, while Osby is ranked 13th in the 100-meter.  Both are members of the 11th-ranked 4x100-meter team along with Aimee Rassavong and Tiffany West.  Meanwhile, Asbury will run in the 800-meter, where she is ranked 27th, as well as on the 15th-ranked 4x800-meter relay team with Brooke Smith, Nancy DiBenedetto, and Carol Schryver, which met the "A" standard in the final meet of the season.  Schryver will run as a "B" qualifier in the 1,500 as well.Jessica Sandoval, Kelly Thompson, and Caitlin Villarreal, all key members of the 2009 NAIA National Championship-winning women's cross-country team, will compete at Nationals as well.  Sandoval is ranked 10th in the 10,000-meter; and in the 5,000, Sandoval is 16th, Thompson is 20th, and Villarreal is 23rd.Fellow cross-country runners Jennifer Albright, Lindsey McKown, and Cassidy Reich will also run in the 10,000.  Albright is ranked 23rd, McKown 24th, and Reich will run as a "B" qualifier ranked 48th.In the field, Andrea Talhami is ranked an impressive 9th in the triple jump.The top six finishers at each event earn All-American status.  Team scores are calculated as well at the end of the meet.  A full schedule of events and live meet results will be available on the NAIA website at http://naia.cstv.com/genrel/2010MWOTFChampionship.html.