Cal Poly pair places at nationals

Senior Tiffany Turner and junior Jonathan Williams of Cal Poly Pomona each took home All-American honors to highlight Cal Poly Pomona’s efforts Saturday at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships, held at Angelo State University.

“Jonathan’s experience at the NCAA was crucial and he got the job done,” Broncos head coach Troy Johnson said. “And Tiffany may be the most determined athlete that I’ve been around. Both of them came through today. They’re among the elite in their events and deserve it.”

Turner (La Crescenta) finished eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:00.55. She holds the school record in the event and became CPP’s first Bronco All-American in that event.

“For me, when I heard my name among the 12 who made it to the finals the other night was big,” Turner said. “I had the 16th best time coming in and knowing I was among the 12 in the finals was a big goal.

“Today, my coach (assistant Tony Reyes) told me don’t count bodies, but to just run and that kept me focused on the moment. It was pretty neat to come off the track and see the smiles on my coaches’ faces.”

“She did what she needed to do,” Johnson said. “I sent her a text message earlier in the day that said fight to be in the top eight and she did. Tony did a great job of preparing her for the race.”

Williams, who was competing in his third NCAA event, earned his first All-American honor by finishing seventh in the 100 meters. The Temecula native earned his honor with a 10.48 effort.

He is the first Bronco to earn an All-American honor in his event since David Gillard in 1972.

“I got out of the blocks well, but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t finish higher,” Williams said. “I didn’t lift my knees high enough. But to be in my third NCAA and earn my first All-American honor means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to coming back again and going after the 100 and 200 and the relays.”

“Jonathan had as good of a start out of the blocks as he has had,” Johnson said. “There’s so little room for error when you’re going against an elite field. Jonathan improved over a year ago, and he’s determined to come back and win it. He’s competitive and hungry and that’s how you need to be.”