DES MOINES, Iowa — Five Aggies wrapped up their 2013 seasons by competing against the country’s best athletes at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on Thursday.
The four UCD women had hit A-qualifying standards for the meet during a year highlighted by a Big West Conference team title.
“An experience like this, in which our best college-level athletes compete alongside some of the best professionals, whether domestically or abroad, can serve as a pivotal and enhancing moment in their young careers,” said UCD head coach Drew Wartenburg.
Senior Sarah Sumpter posted the highest finish among the four Aggie women, placing 14th in the 10,000-meter final with a time of 34 minutes, 15.51 seconds. She led the second pack of runners for much of the race. Olympic marathoner Shalane Flanagan, who holds the American record of 30:22.22, dominated the race with a winning time of 31:43.20. UCD alumna Kaitlin Gregg crossed in 20th place at 36:30.30.
Sophomore and second-team All-American Katie Fry was the first of the UCD contingent to finish her competition, placing 21st in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at 10:27.34. Her field included Michigan State’s three-time All-American Nicole Bush and 2012 Olympic finalist Bridget Franek.
Freshman Matthew Bender represented as the only Aggie male and only Junior division competitor. He fired an eighth-place effort in the discus with a throw of 53.67 meters.
The championship meet continues through the weekend. UCD volunteer assistant and 2012 Olympian Kim Conley will race in the 5,000 on Sunday.
The Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association has recognized the UC Davis football team with an Academic Progress Rate Award for having the highest APR score in the Big Sky Conference, the second time in three years the Aggies have been honored.
UCD received the prestigious recognition in 2011 after posting the best APR score in the Great West Conference, the Aggies’ previous league prior to joining the Big Sky for the 2012 season.
The APR calculation, which covers both student-athlete retention and eligibility, helps measure classroom performance of Division I athletes. The Aggie football team posted an APR of 970 in 2011-12, best among the 13 current football programs in the Big Sky.
Twenty-six teams from 13 FCS conferences were recognized with awards either having the highest APR scores in 2011-12 or for having the most improved score. Idaho State was the Big Sky winner for the most improved APR.
The NCAA recently released APR scores for its member institutions while also publicly lauding programs that had scores ranked among the top 10 percent of their respective sports. UC Davis women’s tennis, women’s basketball and women’s gymnastics received the NCAA Public Recognition Awards.