Girardi makes the podium at SCIAC Championships

Maija Girardi stands on the podium.
Photo by Larry Newman

ORANGE, Calif. – The 2019 Chapman University track & field season has already been one for the record books and the SCIAC Championships began with more to be added to the record book. A freshman thrower made the podium and a school record was broken on day one.

Freshman Maija Girardi took third in the women's javelin throw to earn the All-SCIAC distinction in the event. She is just the second female field athlete and first Chapman thrower to make the podium at the SCIAC Championships. Her personal-best throw of 35.83 meters (117-07) came on her final throw and launched her up the standings as it was over three meters farther than either of her first five attempts.

Girardi wasn't the only one to make history. Sophomore Emma Eglinton bettered her school record in the 3000m steeplechase and took sixth in the timed final. Eglinton finished with a time of 11.51.29 to beat her own school record set earlier in the earlier in the year.

Sophomore Armond Gray also pulled in some points for the Panthers on day one of the championships in the long jump. Gray jumped his way to eighth with a personal-best leap of 6.53 meters (21-5.25).

Several Panthers also qualified for tomorrow's finals in the running events. Freshman Arabella Reece had a photo finish in her heat but took second with a time of 4:58.65 to qualify for tomorrow's final.

Freshman Angelica Kolar sprinted a personal-best 12.76 in the 100m dash to qualify for finals with the ninth-fastest time. She just missed making the final of the 200m dash with a 26.25 to finish in 10th.

Both sophomores Gabi Siguenza and Tish Tajii qualified for the 400m hurdles final after finishing in the top-9. Siguenza ran the seventh-fastest time with a 1:06.74 and Tajii followed in ninth with a 1:09.26.

Junior Derek Ohara continued his breakout season with a personal-best time of 10.92 in the 100m dash. He sprinted to the fifth-fastest time to qualify for tomorrow's final. He narrowly missed the final in the 200m dash with the 11th-fastest time – another personal-best of 22.47. Sophomore Aki Shigeyama sprinted into the 400m final with a time of 50.39 to place eighth.

The women's team sits in ninth in the team standings with nine points but trail Caltech by just a point and Whittier by six points. Gray's eighth-place finish gave the men's team one point in day one, putting the Panthers in eighth.

The SCIAC Championships conclude tomorrow with all finals events, including both relays.