This past weekend, the Dons competed in two separate track events, smashing school records at both the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. The weekend was headlined by redshirt junior Jose Madera’s incredible performance that blew the Dons’ old 10,000-meter (6.21 mile) record out of the water, beating it by more than 19 seconds. Madera was not the only San Francisco athlete to have a solid performance, however, with several other Dons placing amongst the top finishers as well.
Madera ran to eighth place overall at the Stanford Invitational, earning a time of 29:19.23 in the 10,000-meter race. Joining Madera at Stanford was junior middle distance runner Sean Gomes, who also earned a top-ten finish in his section of the 800-meter (0.5 mile) course. Gomes was a mere two seconds off of USF’s 800-meter record, coming in with a time of 1:54.39.
Meanwhile, other USF athletes competed at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival at San Francisco State University. Junior long jumper Nile Norwood, who competed in both meets, took first at San Francisco State with a jump of 6.99 meters on his final jump. Norwood came extremely close to breaking a school record that has stood since 1966, but was just two-hundredths of a meter short.
Several other Dons turned in top-ten finishes on the weekend. Senior runner Gustavo Mena finished 10th in the 1,500-meter (0.93 mile) event, and senior Adam Smith was seventh in the 3,000-meter (1.86 mile) race. Among the field competitors, freshman javelin thrower Katoa Ahau ended with a fourth-place result.
“We are pleased with how so many of our athletes stepped up this weekend,” head coach Helen Lehman-Winters told usfdons.com. “We had multiple personal bests with many others showing a ton of improvement. We walked away from this weekend with five NCAA qualifiers and look forward to picking up more later this month.”
USF’s female athletes competed at both the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival this past weekend, and just like the men, they set multiple records in several different events. The highlight of the weekend was sophomore distance runner Elena Burkard’s record-toppling 5,000-meter run. Burkard, who hails from Germany, beat the previous record, which was held by teammate senior Jana Soethout, by a healthy six seconds.
Burkard placed in seventh after her record-setting time of 16:05.84. She was not the only Don to break a record, with sophomore hurdler Eleni Fkiaras besting her previous school record by a second, crossing the finish line in 66.0 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles event. Her time was enough to earn her second place in her section at Stanford. Junior Kamilah Davis also had a strong run at the Stanford Invitational, completing the 100-meter (.06 mile) dash in 12.51 seconds.
Fkiaras also took part in 4×100-meter relay, joining Davis and freshmen Asaundra Dalton and Lupe Medina. Together, the team of four runners were able to place in second with another record-breaking time of 48.42. Junior distance runner Kailey Ulland couldn’t add to the long list of new school records, but she ran to a personal best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing fifth at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.
Both the men’s and women’s teams are scheduled to compete at the Sun Angel Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. from April 11-12. Based on the three new USF records that were set at last weekend’s meets, the Dons seem poised to be among the top competitors in the Valley of the Sun.