Multi-event classic brings track back to Chico


Wyatt Alpert

Chico athlete competes in the hurdles. Photo taken Feb. 24 by Wyatt Alpert.

The multi-event classic took place this week to open the calendar year of track and field events for both the men’s and women’s teams of Chico State. The women’s team finished the heptathlon with ninth and eleventh place finishers. Jordan Ausbie finished second in the men’s decathlon with the highest place earned for the Wildcats. Champions of each division were Brett Lombardi unattached for the men and Brianna Green of Fresno Pacific for the women.

The events began on Thursday with whipping wind and a rare winter storm advisory put in place over Butte County for the weekend. Before the events kicked off coach Veronica Graves said, “It’s going to be tricky for the athletes to warm up … there is not you know any area out here to really keep warm so it’s a constant battle for them to just stay warm.”  The weather was no kinder on Friday with rain substituted for wind. It made certain events more difficult for athletes.   

Ausbie said, “In between events you cool down pretty quick and like even with shotput and discus and the throwing events you know it’s kind of hard to get a good grip on the objects.”  

Weather complications in hand, Chico State track and field was able to put on the full event list without any cancellations.

In his first event, senior Zack Nelson competed and won the 100 meter sprint. He believes this weekend is a good starting point for his season goals. 

Nelson said he’s aiming for “national contention” and a score within the mid six thousand range.

Coach Graves said that qualifying for nationals is their main goal, and that they are aiming to “bring our banners back to Chico.”

Zack Nelson watching his discus land.
Zack Nelson watching his discus land. Photo taken Feb. 24 by Wyatt Alpert.

The brutal weather might have steered fans away from the weekend’s events. According to Graves, fan support was “a little tough for this Chico multi [event], it’s definitely more quieter of a meet.” 

Because track meets are all day events, Nelson suggests that fans stop by for shorter periods of time. 

“Usually when we have track meets it’s an all day event, so anytime they’re [fans/students] in between classes or stuff like that if you just want to come out and you know cheer on some of our athletes it’s a good time.” 

Upcoming home events for the Chico State Wildcats Track and field team will be March 18 and 19, as well as April 22 and 23. For more results on the team visit Chico State athletics.

Wyatt Alpert can be reached at [email protected].