Feb. 17, 2014
Fresno, Calif.----- Freshman Melanie Fujiwarabecame the first San Jose State University women's track and field athlete to be called a winner when she finished first in the opening heat of the mile run at the Run for the Dream Invitational at the Save Mart Center.
Fujiwara, from Paraclete High in Lancaster, Calif., completed her run with a 5:37.0 hand time. Overall, she finished sixth in the two-heat competition. Her teammates, Aylin Mejia, a senior from San Diego, and Rebecca Garcia, a junior from Anaheim, ran in the second heat and finished second and third overall.
"That's pretty exciting. It feels amazing. I wasn't expecting much, but when I went out there, I felt pretty good," said Fujiwara who led her heat from start to finish in her winning effort. "I was a little nervous, because it was 11 laps. Once we started, it felt really good and I got into the motions and everything.
"I was planning on staying in the first lead pack. It was going kind of slow, so I started to pick it (the pace) up," added the chemistry major that believes her best race is the 2-mile run.
In the program's second meet in University history, San Jose State competed in the mile run, 800 meters, 55 meter dash and fielded a 4x400 meter relay team.
"Melanie won her heat in the mile and Aylin (Mejia) ran really well, herself and we ran a relay. So, it was fun. It was a new experience," said San Jose State women's track and field head coach Jeff Petersmeyer. "Most of them never ran on a banked track like I ran here when I was in college - 140 or so some meters. The times weren't as fast as maybe we hoped in some of the events, but it's difficult to run around a track when you don't know how to pace yourself."
Lalida Maokhamphiou, a freshman from Wilcox High in Santa Clara, also came away with a second-place overall finish for San Jose State in the 800 meters with her 2:26.54 time. She came back to run the Spartans' final leg of the 4x400 meter relay quartet that finished in 4:31.23.
"Madiha had a huge improvement if you convert the 55 to 60 meters. It was almost a full second improvement. We're making some strides forward," Petersmeyer said.
San Jose State concludes its indoor season at the Mountain West Conference Championships, February 27 through March 1, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Run For The Dream Invitational Indoor Track & Field Meet
Save Mart Center, Fresno, Calif.
February 17, 2014
55-meter dash - 1, Shakira Lewis, Fresno State, 7.12. 2, Tanae Turner, Fresno State, 7.27. 3, Janesha Anthony, San Francisco State, 7.29. San Jose State finishers - 30, Madiha Raza, 8.08. 32, Raven Adams, 8.83. 33, Joetta Hall, 8.93. 34, Madison Fowler, 8.96. No place, Taylor Griffin, false start.
Mile run - 1, Gabee Maldonado, Cal State Stanislaus, 5:22.38. 2, Aylin Mejia, San Jose State, 5:22.40. 3, Rebecca Garcia, San Jose State, 5:22.90. Other San Jose State finishers - 6, Melanie Fujiwara, 5:37.0. 7, Karina Nunes, 5:37.47. 12, Jenay Jauregui, 5:47.69. 13, Alison Kimura, 5:49.0. No place, Breanna Garcia, no time recorded.
800 meters - 1, Megan Thompson, Cal State Bakersfield, 2:23.20. 2, Lalida Maokhamphiou, San Jose State, 2:26.54. 3, Bethany Quan, Cal State Los Angeles, 2:26.60. Other San Jose State finishers - 6, Marissa Buckley, 2:36.13. 8, Nina Sassano, San Jose State, 2:42.87.
4x400 meter relay - 1, Cal State Bakersfield, 4:00.62. 2, Cal State Los Angeles, 4:03.53. 3, La Verne, 4:14.65. 4, San Jose State (Melanie Fujiwara, Rebecca Garcia, Marissa Buckley, Lalida Maokhamphiou), 4:31.23.
(click here for complete results)