Skip to content

UC Merced Track Sweeps Cal Pac Championship Team Titles

April 29, 2023
The award-winning Bobcat track teams.

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. – The University of California, Merced men's and women's outdoor track teams swept the team titles at the California Pacific Conference Championships on Friday at Soka University Track Complex.

Individually, Jonathan Chavez took home Cal Pac Track Male Athlete of the Year honors, Elizette Ysais earned Cal Pac Female Athlete of the Year, and head coach Vicente Velarde was named the Cal Pac Men's and Women's Coach of the Year.

The Bobcats will return to Merced with lots of hardware in their inaugural season. The Bobcats also earned 10 gold medals, eight silvers and two bronzes at the conference meet.

Jonathan Chavez won the 800m (1:59.65), 1500m (3:51.83), and 5000m (15:32:08). His 1500m time marked a new UC Merced record and he will continue his season at the NAIA National Championships May 24-26 in the 1500m and 5000m events. Chavez was also part of the winning 4X800 relay team on Thursday and 4X400 relay team on Friday.

Ysais won the Cal Pac 5000m Individual Championship with a time of 18:34.75. She also finished second in the 10000m event in 39:46 and scored fifth with a 5:15.89 time in the 1500m.

Sharvin Manjrekar and Alexandra Lopez also proved to be key distance runners in the Bobcats championship day with a pair of second-place finishes in the 800m and 1500m. In the 1500m, Manjrekar hit the NAIA National Championships "B" Standard clocking 3:53.52. Lopez set personal best's with times of 2:22.82 and 4:59.22, respectively. Her 1500m time is also a new UC Merced record.

Jaydah Aguilar won the 800m and broke the UC Merced record with a time of 2:22.26.

Naseem Hassaan highlighted the Bobcats sprinters with a first-place finish in the 200m (22.13) and a third-place finish in the 400m (54.48). Both times marked program-records.

Favour Nnaji and Sinthya Duran found their way to the podium after taking silver in the 100m (10.95) and 400m (1:02.34), respectively. Nnaji set a new UC Merced record and also placed top five in the 200m and the long jump to help the Bobcats score 152 total points.

Justice Wilkins set a program-record and took fifth in the 100m clocking a 13.36 time.

Both of UC Merced's 4X400 relay teams were successful. The men's team ran a program-record and won gold in 3:32.48, while the women's team ran the event in a program-record time of 4:18.76 and took silver.

The women's team posted a total score of 145 points.

Both the men's and women's teams scored at least 40 points more than the second-place teams.