VIOLETT AND BROOKINS EACH WIN LONG JUMP AT FIRST DAY OF BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Sacramento State opened the 2009 Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships with a pair of individual victories from Ericka Violett and Ronald Brookins in the long jump. The Hornet men are in fourth place entering the final day with 21 points while the women are also fourth with 29.5 points.
Friday marked the second consecutive season in which Sacramento State has swept the long jump titles at the indoor meet. Last season, Lori Vaught and Raphael McFarlane won the crowns at Idaho State. This year, Violett tied her career high with a jump 20-00.25 to edge Northern Arizona’s Aisha Goynes (19-11.75) by one-half inch. Her mark keeps her second in school history and is just a quarter-inch behind the school record held by Shanita Bryant.
In the men’s competition, Brookins was one of three Hornets to finish among the top five. The sophomore recorded the second best mark in school history with a jump of 25-02.75. His distance also ties him for the 13th best mark in Div. I this season. Freshman Philip Burks was fourth overall with a career best of 23-06.75 and senior David Houghton was fifth at 23-06.25. The trio combined to score 19 points in the event towards the team total.
As has been the case throughout the year, Violett and Brookins were also successful in other events. Violett placed third in the pole vault and was joined in the point total by Lizzy Norvell who tied for fifth. Both student-athletes cleared 12-05.50 but were separated based on attempts. Norvell’s mark surpassed her career high and ranks second in school history behind Violett. Violett also advanced to the finals of the 60-hurdles after running 8.77 seconds to place second behind Weber State’s Michaela North (8.76) in the prelims.
Brookins also advanced to the finals of two track events. The San Diego native had the top time in the 60-hurdles with a time of 8.12 and ranked second in the 60 in 6.89 seconds. The finals will take place on Saturday.
The other scorers on Friday included Nicole McClure and Monica Gomez in the weight throw. McClure was sixth in the meet and moved into second place at Sacramento State with a throw of 56-00.00. Gomez placed eighth overall at 53-11.25.
Sophomore Naima Goodwin set a personal best in the heptathlon with 3,460 points to place sixth. Goodwin ran the 60-hurdles in 9.11, high jumped 5-02.50, had a shot put of 35-02.50, long jumped 18-00.25 and ran the 800 in 2:39.80.
Both teams also scored points in the distance medley relay. The women were sixth 12:44.28 while the men placed seventh in 10:48.00.
Sacramento State set itself up for a charge on Saturday by advancing several student-athletes to event finals. Along with Brookins and Violett, sophomore Renisha Robinson is in good position to win her second consecutive 800 title. The San Jose, Calif., native ran 2:14.51 to win the prelims by 2.32 seconds. Lea Wallace also advanced to the finals with the fourth-fastest time (2:16.93). Nicole Jackson also qualified for the 60-hurdles final after running a career-best 8.99 seconds to rank sixth. The women will also be aided by Brianna Nelson and Victoria Humphrey on Saturday. Nelson ran 25.19 to rank fourth in school history in the 200. Humphrey clocked a time of 25.21 in the 200 and also moved on in the 400 in 57.37 seconds.
The men had freshman Marcus McMillan run 8.23 seconds in the 60-hurdles to place only behind Brookins. McMillan’s time was .18 seconds better than his previous low and was the third-best at Sacramento State. Jason Nelson advanced to the finals of both the 200 and 400. Nelson ran a career indoor-best 22.10 in the 200 and ran the 400 in 48.75 to claim the fifth fastest time in school history. David Rabionwitz rounds out the qualifiers with an 800 time of 1:54.29 which placed him third in the prelims.
Host Northern Arizona holds the lead in both the men’s and women’s standings. The Lumberjack women scored 50.5 points while the men tallied 55. The women are followed by Idaho State and Montana State, who each of 34. The men are trailed by Eastern Washington (40.5) and Montana State (26.5) in the top three.