Track Continues Strong Spring Season at Ben Brown Invitational
March 15, 2014
FULLERTON, Calif. - One school record and one near miss on the women's side and another best mark in the men's 4x400 relay highlighted the Pepperdine track teams' efforts at the Ben Brown Invitational on Saturday.
Freshman Lindsay Sheaffer (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS) shattered her own record in the 800 meters. Her time of 2:17.29 was more than two seconds better than the previous mark of 2:19.34 she set back on February 22 at Westmont. Sophomore Stasia Demick (Seattle, Wash./Holy Names Academy) also had a fine showing in the event. Her time of 2:19.45 would have set the school record last year. They finished fifth and eighth, respectively, out of 41 runners in the event.
Freshman Tori Occhipinti (Coto de Caza, Calif./Crean Lutheran HS) nearly broke the school record in the women's 100-meter hurdles. Her time of 15.66 was just .07 away from Summer Enalen's record set last year.
Prior to this year, Pepperdine's men had never run the 4x400-meter relay. They've done it three times this season, and the quartet of freshmen Nick Blanchard (Portland, Conn./Portland HS), Torin Wile (Beverly Hills, Mich./Brother Rice HS), Gordie Thomas (Fallbrook, Calif./Great Oak HS) and Aric Crowell (Claremont, Calif./Claremont HS) bettered their best time by more than a full second, running 3:34.35.
Junior Lisa Santroch (Shoreline, Wash./Shorewood HS), a former soccer player who has transitioned over to cross country and track this year, ran at her first college track meet and turned in a time of 4:48.16 in the 1,500 meters, good for #5 on Pepperdine's all-time top five in that event.
On the women's side, more of Pepperdine's top finishers were freshman Gabrielle Ellis (Gilbert, Ariz./Highland HS) in the 100 meters and Demick in the 400 meters. The women's 4x400 relay team of Demick, Sheaffer, senior Channing Williamson (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb HS) and freshman Izzy Connell (Campbell, Calif./The Harker School) posted a season-best time.
For the men, the leaders were Wile in the 800 and Blanchard in the 1,500.
"It was a good day, but it was a very hot day," Pepperdine Coach Robert Radnoti said. "The highlight in the morning was Lindsay breaking the record in the 800 meters. That was very exciting. Stasia was right there also, and that was a breakthrough race for her. Our sprinters are coming along nicely. Tori was .07 away from our school record in the hurdles and that was great. I expect her to break that by the end of the season.
"The 1,500-meter races for the men and women were two of our better races. Nick ran a very nice time in his first collegiate 1,500, and he's just going to get better and better. Lisa ran her first race of the season, ran very comfortably, and she was pleased with her time."
The Waves will take part in the UC Irvine Spring Break Invitational next Friday and Saturday (March 21-22).