Apr 212002
 
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Though poor weather led to the cancellation of spring sporting events throughout the state over the weekend, it had no effect on CSU’s men’s and women’s athletes competing at the Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) Invitational in Walnut, Calif.

In the women’s 10,000-meter run, Senior Kim Leal qualified provisionally for the NCAA Championships with a time of 34 minutes, 55 seconds, while finishing ninth overall in the event.

Junior Jennifer Kintzley was not far behind as she finished 18th with time of 35:39.

Senior Elizabeth Roodell and junior Christy Virgin had similar success in the women’s 5,000-meter event, taking third and 14th while running 16:46 and 17:26 respectively.

“I’ve been really impressed with Liz this season,” head coach Del Hessel said. “She has put in some great races and for her to put up a (personal best time) like that is wonderful to see.”

In the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, junior Margaret Larson showed why she was all-conference in the event last year, placing high in the event.

For the men it was senior Josh Lybarger and junior Paul DiGrappa who stole the show in the men’s 10,000, running personal-best times of 30:10 and 30:36 while finishing ninth and 15th respectively.

Though his time was not good enough to qualify him provisionally for nationals, Lybarger said his performance was a step in the right direction.

“I struggled indoor with an injury and I’m not where I want to be right now,” Lybarger said. “I want to work toward my goal of qualifying for nationals and this helps me to get into position to move toward that goal.”

Sophomore Bill Michel finished 23rd in the men’s 5,000 with a time of 14:27, proving once again that he can hold his own against the nation’s best.

“He’s put up some great times and just being a sophomore I see him getting better every week,” Hessel said.

Apart from those competing on the track, Hessel also took two field event specialists to Mt. SAC in senior thrower Julie Gunzel and junior pole vaulter Christine Ahn.

Gunzel, who has already qualified for nationals in the discus, put out another great performance in the event as she recorded a distance of 160 feet, six inches, ranking her third among collegians.

Ahn, who was looking to qualify for nationals in the pole vault, finished the meet 12th after clearing 11 feet, five and three-quarter inches.

Though not every CSU athlete qualified for nationals, Hessel said each should have a chance to break those marks in upcoming meets.

“I think everyone that goes to Mt. SAC is looking to qualify for nationals,” Hessel said. “But it’s not a last-chance meet for those who don’t reach that mark.” n

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