LOS ANGELES — Zach Greenleaf came out of nowhere to win the pole vault competition and Austin Sankaran took first in the 10,000m, leading the Occidental men's track and field team on Day 1 of the SCIAC Championships.
Greenleaf, a first year from Lake Oswego, Ore., who came into the competition ranked eighth in the SCIAC, cleared 14-feet, 11.5 inches, beating out defending champion Zane Bodenberger of CMS and SCIAC leader Michael Wagenveld of CMS, whose best mark this season of 16-04.75 is sixth best in NCAA Division III.
Equally as important as the points he earned were the points CMS didn't get in an event they were expected to dominate. The Stags did total 19 points, but Oxy cut down the anticipated deficit, earning 15 points with the help of sixth-place finisher Stephen Nemeth and seventh-place finisher Sumner Schwartz.
Sankaran cruised to victory in the first and only 10k he's ever run, finishing in 31:27.33. Keenan Leary also came up big in the event, taking third place (32:06.99).
All running events on Day 1 with the exception of the 3,000m steeplechase and the 10,000m, were prelims for Saturday's session. Events on the track begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday with the 4 x 100m relays.
In the men's competition, the hammer, discus, pole vault and long jump all were finals on Day 1.
The Tigers are searching for their first SCIAC Championship since 1998 and their SCIAC-best 57th crown overall.
Field events could be one of the deciding factors between CMS and Oxy. The Tigers are favored in the sprints and the Stags are favored in the distance events.
Team Scores After Day 1:
La Verne 31
Cal Lutheran 11
SCIAC Scoring: The dual-meet season makes up 25 percent of the final standging with the remaining 75 percent determined at the SCIAC Championship.
Event Scoring: The meet will be scored 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for all events. Eight athletes advance to the finals in all track events except the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays. Nine athletes will advance to the finals in all field events.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram