T&F Earns Race Win And PRs At Johnny Mathis Invite

Alyin Mejia ran a personal best in the 1500m at the Johnny Mathis Invitational.

March 22, 2014

San Francisco, Calif. – The San José State women’s track and field team participated in its first outdoor competition at the Johnny Mathis Invitational, recorded its first race win and saw two athletes put up personal records, on Saturday in Cox Stadium on the campus of San Francisco State.

“We had a great day,” head coach Jeff Petersmeyer said.  “Aylin (Mejia) and Melanie (Fujiwara’s) PRs in the 1500 and the steeplechase were the two highlights of the day.  We have seen a lot of improvement to this point and I think we will continue to see more each time we compete.”

In the first event of the day, the 3000-meter steeplechase, Rebecca Garcia and Lalida Maokhamphiou separated themselves from a pack of five Spartans after two laps and battled to the finish line.  Garcia held off a charging Maokhamphiou by 18 one-hundredths of a second to earn the first race win in program history…one race…one win!  Garcia ran an 11:33.39 to Maokhamphiou’s 11:33.57.  Also competing in the race for San José State were Allison Kimura (12:24.66), Breanna Garcia (12:43.42) and Nina Sassano (12:53.91).

“It was a lot of fun,” said Garcia of the win and first time running the race.  “Honestly it was a little scary at first, but as the race progressed we all settled in and really enjoyed it.  Lalita has a really good kick and I was trying so hard to hold her off, but overall it was a learning experience.

Aylin Mejia and Melanie Fujiwara set personal bests in the 1500-meter run.  Mejia finished in 11th place overall with a time of 4:44.41 and Fujiwara came home in 4:59.16.  Karina Nunes (5:07.08), Marissa Buckley (5:13.93), Jenay Jauregui (5:17.82) also ran for San José State.

“This was a good meet for us,” said assistant coach Brad Wick.  “We got a lot of good experience in the steeplechase and saw that a couple of our athletes can compete for points in the conference meet in that event.

“Aylin and Melanie, with two PRs, were great to see for the opening race.  We have a benchmark for all our athletes and now we start work on chipping away at those times.”

In the 100-meter dash, Taylor Griffin was the Spartans top finisher.  She took 10th place in 13.11 with Raven Adams finishing in 14.41.  The 200-meter run saw Madiha Raza’s 27.88 as the top time for the team with Madison Fowler behind her at 30.21.

“The ladies have made some good improvement,” assistant coach Kelley Watson said after the meet.  “Getting in a meet and competing tells you a lot about where you are as an athlete.  For a coach, it helps me to refine our training to see improvement in technique and times.

2014 Johnny Mathis Invitational

Cox Stadium, San Francisco, Calif.

March 22, 2014

3000m Steeplechase – 1. Rebecca Garcia, San José State, 11:33.39. 2. Lalida Maokhamphiou, San José State, 11:33.57. 3. Allison Kimura, San José State, 12:24.66. 4. Breanna Garcia, San José State, 12:43.42. 5. Nina Sassano, San José State, 12:53.91.

1500m Run – 1. Elena Burkard, San Francisco, 4:27.32. 2. Ayla Granados, Chico State, 4:28.61. 3. Megan Rolland, Oiselle, 4:28.69. SAN JOSE STATE FINISHERS: 11.  Aylin Mejia, 4:44.41. 29. Melanie Fujiwara, 4:59.16. Karina Nunes, 5:07.08. 40. Marissa Buckley, 5:13.93. 44. Jenay Jauregui, 5:17.82.

100m Dash – 1. Janesha Anthony, San Francisco State, 11.94. 2. Kasey Barnett, Chico State, 12.06. 3. Kamilah Davis, San Francisco, 12.27. SAN JOSE STATE FINISHERS: 10. Taylor Griffin, 13.11. 21. Raven Adams, 14.41. Joetta Hall, FS

200m Dash - 1. Ashley Jones, Chico State, 24.97. 2. Brionne Baucham, San Francisco State, 25.12. 3. Kamilah Davis, San Francisco, 25.14. SAN JOSE STATE FINISHERS: 19. Madiha Raza, 27.88. 24. Madison Fowler, 30.21.