The UC Davis women’s track team seeks a fourth consecutive championship when it competes at the Big West Track and Field Championships this weekend at UC Riverside.
UC Davis will have four women defending titles, including Ashley Marshall and Raquel Lambdin. Marshall has won the past two Big West titles in the 100 and 200. Lambdin is the two-time defending champion in the 1,500. Both used those titles last year to spark a postseason run that landed them in the NCAA finals and also earned them All-America status.
Cekarri Nixon, last year’s 400 winner who later set a school record at the NCAA West Prelims, will be out to defend her title along with Catherine Li. She set a school-record of 41 feet, 1.50 inches in the triple jump.
Marshall enters the meet ranked No. 1 in the Big West in her two sprints while Nixon is top-ranked in the 400. Lambdin is No. 5 in the 1,500 but owns the best mark in the 800. She placed second in that event last year.
Other top-seeded Aggies include Emma Redick in the 400 hurdles, Erika Barr in the steeplechase and the 4x100 relay of Marshall, Nixon, Redick and Holly Miller. They ran a school record 44.70 aagainst Sacramento State two weeks ago.
High jump school-record holder Katie Barber, pole vaulter Ariel Maroon and shot put standout Veronica Smart will contend for titles as well. All are among the top five in Big West rankings.
UC Davis put on a showcase during last year’s Big West Championships, held at the Aggies’ Woody Wilson Track for the first time. Sparked by eight wins on the second day, the women rolled to their third straight conference title by totaling 194 points. The men finished third, giving the Aggies their best combined finish since joining the Big West in 2007-08.