What a difference one year can make. At last year's California Collegiate Athletic Assn. track championships, the Cal State Northridge men's team failed to score a single point on the first day of competition. Zero, none, nada, zippo, zilch. In fact, CSUN only scored 32 points in the entire meet.
A lot has changed since then. The Matadors tallied 43 points on the first day of the CCAA championships at CSUN on Saturday.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo led after six events with 61 points and Cal State Los Angeles, the defending CCAA champion and pre-meet favorite, followed with 51. CSUN was third and Cal Poly Pomona (17), Cal State Bakersfield (12), UC Riverside (2) and Chapman (0) followed.
In the women's meet, San Luis Obispo, which has won four of the last five NCAA Division II titles, led with 85 points. The Mustangs were followed by CSUN (42), Pomona (38), Bakersfield (14), Chapman (5) and Riverside (0).
The Matador men were led by the victories of Dan Lange and Gary Jackson. Lange won the hammer with a season-best of 181-9 and Jackson leaped a season-best in the long jump (24-9 3/4) to upset defending CCAA champion Stan Oporski of Cal State Los Angeles, who placed second (24-3 1/2).
The long jump was a big event for Northridge as freshman Jerry Gilmore placed third with a wind-aided 24-1 effort and Willie Hannon leaped 23-5 1/2w for fifth.
The Matadors also received an unexpected 10 points in the 10,000 meters. Reggie Dechard placed second (31:43.54) and Dane Costley placed fifth (33:10.64).
"We're ahead of pace," Strametz said.
"We got several clutch performances and unexpected points. I figured we'd get four or six points in the 10,000 and we got 10. In the long jump, I figured 14 and we got 18."
In Saturday's qualifying freshman Tyrone Jeffries led CSUN with two personal bests.
Jeffries won heat 2 of the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (52.52) and placed third in heat 1 of the 110-high hurdles (14.49). Jeffries' time in the intermediates qualifies him for the NCAA Division II championships, and his time in the highs is only .05 seconds shy of the Division II standard.
Penny Franklin, Norren Flynn, Colleen Gainey and Heather Brookes all turned in second-place performances for the Northridge women.
Franklin leaped 18-4 1/2 in the long jump, Flynn jumped 5-6 1/2 in the high jump, Gainey threw the javelin 147-8 and Brookes ran 37:58.9 in the 10,000 meters.
Nancy Bowman, the defending CCAA champion, placed third in the 5,000 meters (17:14.01).
Today's meet begins with the men's decathlon at 9 a.m.