California’s only indoor track and field facility provided a welcome shelter from the weekend’s rain for UCLA men’s track and field team at the Fresno State Run for the Dream Invitational.
Members of the team participated in the first official meet of the season at the Save Mart Center’s indoor track Friday, competing against Long Beach State, Fresno Pacific and Cal State Bakersfield.
The Bruins’ long distance runners performed well in the mile, despite the track being somewhat smaller than what they were used to and the officials signaling the final lap one lap too early.
Sophomore distance runner Philip MacQuitty won first place overall, whereas junior Alec Govi landed second place, followed by sophomore Jacob Wood in third place.
“Philip MacQuitty is somebody who we expect good things from, with great training,” coach Mike Maynard said.
For MacQuitty, this meet was a perfect opportunity to get back into the competition state of mind.
“We have places we need to work on, so we need to think about that going into next week,” MacQuitty said. “This week, training is going to be really intense.”
Although many of the team’s vaulters were away at the National Pole Vault Clinic, both senior Trent Perez and junior David Thomas thrived in the pole vault. Only Perez placed first but both athletes cleared the 15-10 mark.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Huusfeldt won first place in the men’s high jump clearing 6-6, beating his best mark of 6-4.
In the 600 yard run, senior Jonathan Simmons and freshman Sean Burd placed second and third, respectively, with Burd making his collegiate debut.
Juniors Dominic Giovannoni and David Thomas, sophomore Marcus Nilsson and senior Trent Perez competed in the 4×400 meter relay, landing second place.
Despite being in a different, much colder venue than the rest of the team, sophomore thrower Alec Faldermeyer began this season much like he did last year’s debut, landing the first place spot in the indoor weight throw with a mark of 67-6.25, good for sixth in the NCAA this season.
“This was an opener to see how we are doing based on our training, but it’s still pretty early,” Faldermeyer said.
Although he felt like there were some technicalities he had to smooth out in his performance, Faldermeyer said this season got off to a successful start.
Faldermeyer wants to win the NCAA indoor championship and feels that this meet was just a preview of what should be expected of him and the rest of the team.
“What we do philosophically is try to build the training and competitions towards the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation meet, and then really bring the whole team together, a full squad at the MPSF,” Maynard said.
Next week, the team is traveling north for the Washington State Invitational, where they hope to keep building stamina for the remainder of the indoor season.