Friday, May 12, 2017

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Chico State track & field athletes McCall Habermehl (left) and Garrett De Long.
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Men's Track | | By Rory Miller - Assistant Sports Information Director (

Fifteen ’Cats to give it their all at West Coast Last Chance Open

Chico State runners look to post or improve NCAA qualifying marks

With the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships in the books, the Chico State men's and women's track & field teams can enjoy a little down time before next week's official announcement of NCAA Track & Field Championship participants. Fifteen Wildcats runners, though, will be in action this Saturday, trying to post or improve qualifying marks at the 2017 West Coast Last Chance Open, hosted by the University of San Francisco and taking place at Cox Stadium on the San Francisco State campus.

Eight Chico State athletes making the trip to the Bay Area have NCAA Provisional qualifying marks in hand, but the West Coast Last Chance Open provides a final opportunity to strengthen those marks or even post an Automatic mark.

The NCAA Track & Field Championship field will be announced Tuesday, May 16.

On the men's side, Michael Good will look to better his provisional mark of 1:52.27 in the 800-meter run. Kelly McConnell also takes a provisional time of 52.75 seconds into the 400-meter hurdle competition, while Connor Fisher (9:02.47) and Jack Johnson (9:05.86) will take a final try at bettering their provisional times in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Several Wildcat distance runners will be looking to get some NCAA consideration in time for next week's championship selections. Garrett De Long and Anuare Magana will toe the line in the Last Chance Open's 1,500-meter run, while a trio of 'Cats—Zachary Chamberlain, Eddie King and Steven Velarde—will toe the line for the men's 5,000-meter run.

Alex Burkhart has already notched NCAA provisional times in the steeplechase and 5,000-meter runs, but she'll go for the trifecta Saturday in the 1,500-meter run.

Aja Erskine will look to bolster her existing provisional time of 55.32 seconds in the 400-meter dash, while Jenavieve Turner attempts to whittle some seconds off her provisional time of 1:01.39 in the 400-meter hurdles.

Three Chico State athletes are entered in the Last Chance Open's 5,000-meter run. Sadie Gastelum already owns a provisional mark of 17:06.93 in the event, while Wildcat teammates McCall Habermehl and Nora Pizzella will attempt to post an NCAA qualifying time in the 5k.

Wildcat fans can keep up with Saturday's Last Chance Open results online via the Wildcat Athletics website.
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