The indoor track and field season — which starts Friday — is a little unusual for Cal State Bakersfield.
The women participate in two meets at Northern Arizona before competing at the Western Athletic Conference Championships. The men don’t have an indoor team and train for outdoor, which starts in the spring.
“We’re not in a place where we have an indoor track two hours up the road where we can get to a lot of indoor meets,” CSUB head coach Marcia Mansur-Wentworth said. “So we just kind of go through the season. … Hopefully we’ll have four all-conference performers indoors. Outdoors, we’ll do a lot better though.”
The Roadrunners start the season at Northern Arizona for the NAU Friday Night Challenge. A week later, they’ll head back for the Lumberjack Team Challenge on Jan. 18. The WAC championships will be in Boise, Idaho on Feb. 22 and 23.
Among CSUB’s returning previous indoor All-WAC winners are Julianne Finch and Hannah Walker. Finch, a junior pole vaulter out of Garces, took sixth last season. Walker, a sophomore high jumper from Frontier, placed third in the high jump last season.
“Finch is in good shape and she’s been working really hard,” Mansur-Wentworth said. “She’s got three all-conference honors. I think she’d like to be on top of the podium. … I think Hannah can be back there.”
Last season, CSUB’s four all-conference performances in indoor was a program best. Angel Valdez, who was one of the honorees, graduated, though, and Falon Wilson, CSUB’s top sprinter, transferred to walk-on at Texas A&M.
But Mansur-Wentworth is excited about this year’s freshmen. Riley Slayton from Liberty will be at her best in the 400-meter hurdles in outdoor track, but will do well in the 400-meter dash in indoor, Mansur-Wentworth said. Slayton will be the anchor for the 4x400-meter relay.
“She is dialed in and she’s focused and that’s why I’m putting her on the anchor,” Mansur-Wentworth said of Slayton. “She’s just gonna go crazy after them. She’s gonna be like, ‘Yeah, you’re toast.’ And girl in front of her, you might be toast, too, so look out.”
Jaylen Christensen, an Independence graduate, will do the high jump and possibly long jump. Jordan Earl, a Santee-West Hills graduate out of the San Diego area, will be a sprinter. Earl is currently dealing with bronchitis. They should both be impact freshmen, Mansur-Wentworth said.
Also added to the CSUB team was She’Pree Brevil, a horizontal jumper out of Bakersfield High who spent two years not as an athlete at Grand Canyon. She comes in as a redshirt sophomore.
Mariah Lesure, a junior from BHS, will be the core of both relay teams and a potential candidate to reach the podium, Mansur-Wentworth said. She’s taken on a leadership role for the relay teams.
As far as the distance runners go, Paradise Pelzer will redshirt after having foot surgery recently. Alejandra Frausto is coming back from an injury in the fall. Bianca Frausto and Alyssa Diaz will join the mix.
“Indoors, with the distance crew, we’re just training,” Mansur-Wentworth said. “Literally they are not running in competition shoes this weekend. They’re running in flats. They’re in the mile and these girls are not blessed with speed. So we’re just gonna run, go do a workout and get them ready for outdoors.”