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Today in
S.C.V. History
May 18
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]

By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director

There’s a tradition at the Pomona-Pitzer Track and Field Invitational that Master’s coach Zach Schroeder finds both pleasant and rewarding.

The host Sagehens gift a T-shirt to the winner of each heat.

There’s another tradition that bodes well for TMU entering Saturday’s 32nd-annual event: Typically, TMU sprints have excelled here. And 2018 should be more of the same.

“I think we have a chance for some really big races top to bottom,” said Schroeder, who’s seen female runners set program bests in the 100, 200 and 400 meters at Pomona over the years, most recently Tess Thompson in the 100 last year.

Saturday, freshman Seanna Nalbandyan could qualify for NAIA nationals in the 100 hurdles. It would be her second A Standard mark for the national event (she already qualified in the 400 hurdles). It would also make her the second Mustang ever to qualify in the 100 hurdles.

“This could be a great chance for her to post big marks,” Schroeder said of Nalbandyan, who has posted the third-fast 400 hurdle time in the NAIA this season.

Schroeder also expects his 4×100 (Emma Bahr, Janae Hickey, Nalbandyan and Thompson) and 4×400 (Bahr, Rylee Bishop, Thompson and Nalbandyan) relays to challenge the program records.

The 4×1 record is 53.11 seconds; the 4×4 record is 4 minutes, 7.73 seconds.

Bishop, Thompson, Hickey and Nalbandyan set the 4×4 record last weekend at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, where TMU focused heavily on its longer events.

Saturday, the Mustang distance efforts will center on the 800 and 1,500 in hopes of building toward the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa later this month.

Friday, Schroeder reflected on a moment involving Pomona and the 800 that illustrated how meets like this one are key to future success.

In 2013 at Pomona, former Mustang John Gilbertson set the school record in the 800 (1:53.31). Gilbertson – a national champion in the 5,000 – used the event to work on finishing strong.

“He had a tremendous close (at Pomona),” Schroeder said. “That close is what enabled him to win so often. It’s meets like that that set it up.”

Expect freshman Kevin Pacheco and junior Keylan Meneses to post solid marks in the 800, with multiple TMU sprinters challenging to win their heats.

Schroeder said the meet does an excellent job seeding each heat, making for a cornucopia of competition.

“Quite a few of our athletes have a chance to win their individual heats,” Schroeder said. “That’s really the big prize, to be able to go out and focus on competing to win. And when you’re (thinking) that way, that’s usually when you perform at your best.”

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