High jumping trio & 'Fierce Freshmen' leading CSUB track to new highs ahead of WAC Championships

Posted at 4:51 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 21:23:00-04

It might not have the flash of the other sports, but this year has been one to remember for CSUB track and field. "The thing that's great about this season is it's happening across the board," said Marcia Mansur-Wentworth, CSUB's director of track & field.

Records are made to be broken and this year the Runners have done their part in shattering them.

Already 17 marks have made their way into the top 20 of CSUB record books including Tristan Watson who passed a time that had stood for 27 years. Tristan passed his dad Johnny who was there to literally pass his son the baton.

Oh and have you heard about the school record holder? Julianne Finch, yes the Garces grad and former athlete of the week, broke CSUB's 15 year old record in just the third meet of her college career. "Now I started looking at trying to hit 13'3 to make it to junior nationals which I wasn't even thinking of that at the beginning of the season," she said after jumping 12'5.5"

Finch is ranked number one in the WAC as is the Runners trio of high jumpers. "We come in hungry," said junior Jose Flores. "We want to prove that we are one of the best teams here."

Tim Van Horn, Jose Flores and Justin McKinley are expected to go one, two and three at next week's WAC Championships and for coach Mansur-Wentworth, the three reflect just the type of athlete she's looking to build a program on.

"There's no magic," she said. "We're not doing anything different here than they do all over the country as far as training. We have the same expectations of our student athletes as they do at all the big programs and the ones who work hard are the ones who are enjoying success."

No magic formula, just hard work. That combined with an influx of eight local products, or as coach calls them the fierce freshman, have the Runners ready for their next challenge.

"It is good to have all these people doing so well at the same time, it draws in more people," said Van Horne, the sophomore high jumper who is ranked first in the WAC, on the amount of Bakersfield teammates. "If we keep doing well we keep getting good people."

The WAC Championships begin Wednesday 5/10 and go through Saturday 5/13 at UT Rio Grande Valley. Should Finch or any of the three high jumpers place in the top 48 of the region they'll head off to the NCAA West Regionals which will be held in Austin, TX at the end of May.


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