Broncos qualify seven for DII national track meet

BRONCOS QUALIFY SEVEN FOR NCAAs: When the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships take place at Mt. San Antonio College on May 22-24, the Cal Poly Pomona men’s and women’s teams will be represented in fine fashion.

Seven Broncos have qualified for the meet that Cal Poly Pomona will play host to next week. The men’s team will send three student-athletes – seniors Sofiane Meniri (800 meters, Villeurbanne, France) and Joaquin Ortiz (800 meters, Woodland), and sophomore Jonathan Williams (100 meters, Temecula).

The women’s team will send four student-athletes – seniors Claudia Garcia (10,000 meters, Whittier) and Adrienne Schumm (10,000 meters, Chino Hills), junior Jasmine Winn (long jump, Pomona) and sophomore Tokunbo Adeniji (400 meters, Pomona).

“Reaching the NCAA Championships is a testament to their hard work,” said first-year Bronco coach Troy Johnson. “Their belief in themselves and their hard work has gotten them to this point.

“To have seven represent our school is an honor for themselves and to our coaching staff. It’s a great first year to start off the program.”

Meniri won the 800 meters in 1:52.22 at the California Collegiate Athletic Association meet held at Cal State Los Angeles on May 2-4. Ortiz arguably is the most improved runner on the men’s team this season as he dropped his time more than six seconds from year ago at 1:52.27. Williams (10.53) competed in last year’s event in Charlotte, N.C., and looks to earn his first all-America honor.

For the women, Schumm and Garcia both will race in the 10,000 meters. At last week’s Occidental Relays, Schumm established a personal best 36 minutes and 23.54 seconds. She also won the CCAA 10,000. Garcia owns a qualifying time of 36:53.27 – also a personal best.

Winn, who competed in the long jump at last year’s NCAA meet, owned the nation’s top mark in the long jump for the early part of the season at 19 feet, 3 inches.

Tokunbo improved nearly four seconds this season in her event and owns a personal-best 55.49.

About Occidental Relays: Junior Tiffany Turner (La Crescenta) established a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and senior Joaquin Ortiz (Woodland) earned an NCAA Division II provisional mark in the 800 meters as Cal Poly Pomona finished its regular season track and field schedule at the Occidental Relays onMay 10.

Senior Adrienne Schumm (Chino Hills) also had a standout performance as she improved her time in the 10,000 meters in 36 minutes and 23.54 seconds.

Turner ran the steeplechase in 11:08.87 seconds, surpassing the mark of 11:18.88 set by Emma Hartel in 2007. Turner’s time met NCAA Division II provisional status, but did not meet the standard set Monday.

That Turner established the record at Occidental is noteworthy. She competed in last season’s event as an unattached runner in the 5000 while studying at Glendale College and it was her first-ever race in a track and field event.

Ortiz continued his assault on his event and established a personal-best mark of 1:52.27.

Schumm’s time ranks as the 14th fastest in the country. Teammate Claudia Garcia (senior, Whittier) ran 36:35.27 at Mt. SAC in April and ranks 17th in the country.

Sophomore David Rhodes (Auburn) established a collegiate best 15-0 3/4 in the pole vault to round out the top Bronco competitors.

2008 NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships Advisory:

May 22-24, 2008 Walnut, Calif.

Hilmer Lodge Stadium

Cal Poly Pomona University Host institution

When: May 22-24, 2008. First-day events run from 10:30 a.m. to 9:05 p.m. Second-day events run from 10:00 a.m. to 9:25 p.m. Third-day events run from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Walnut, Calif., on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College

Participants: More than 800 participants (including student-athletes, coaches and administrators) from around the country are expected to visit the San Gabriel Valley for the event.

Meet History: The NCAA has been holding a men’s championship since 1963 and a women’s championship since 1982. This will mark the third time in the event’s history that Cal Poly Pomona has played host to the event and the second time in the last five years (1980 and 2004). Both previous events were held at Mt. SAC.