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July 29, 2011 > Former Pioneers have success at track championships

Former Pioneers have success at track championships

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

Eight former Cal State East Bay track and field student-athletes competed at the 2011 World Masters Athletics (WMA) Outdoor Stadia Championships held in Sacramento last week, bringing home seven medals.

Joy Upshaw's four medals led the former Pioneers, who competed in 13 events at the championships, which spanned two weeks and took place at the Sacramento State, Sacramento City College and American River College tracks, as well as park trails in the Sacramento area.

Four Pioneers earned gold or silver medals at the meet led by Upshaw's three first-place showings. A former All-American for Cal State East Bay, Upshaw nabbed gold in the women's 50-55 age groups 100 meters, 200 meters and 80 meter hurdles, and took second in the same age group in the long jump. Joining her on the podium were fellow Pioneers William Long, who took home silver in the men's 50-55 long jump, Brian Conley, the 50-55 age group runner up in the 100 meter hurdles, and Bob Olsen, who grabbed silver in the men's 55-60 pole vault.

A multi-event competitor for the Pioneers, Upshaw was a member of the track and field team from 1982-85. Among the many events she competed in were the 400 meter hurdles and long jump. An All-American in her own right, Upshaw also helped guide the Pioneer mile relay team to All-America status in 1982.

Olsen was a member of the 1977 men's track and field national championship team, competing from 1976-79 and collecting All-America honors in the pole vault. Conley was a member of the CSUEB track team for one season, 1981, competing in the 110 meter high hurdles, while Long was a jumper for the Pioneers from 1978-80.

Other former Pioneers competing included Frannie Castro, Sandy LeBeaux, Marcus McGlory and Leo Sacramento.

Castro, a member of the 1981 Pioneer national champion track and field and cross country teams in 1979 and 1980, respectively, competed in the 800 meters at the WMA meet. An All-American in both cross country and track, Castro is still the Cal State East Bay record holder in the 800. LeBeaux is an Athletics Hall of Famer who raced in the 400 hurdles at the championships and was a two-sport athlete for the Pioneers. A member of both the track and football teams from 1980-82, LeBeaux captured the 1981 national championship in the intermediate hurdles.

McGlory competed in the long jump at the WMA meet and was a four-time All-American for the Pioneers as a long- and triple-jumper from 1978-81, while Sacramento participated in the triple and long jumps at the championships after competing in those events from 1983-84.

This year marked the first time that the WMA Outdoor Championships were held in the United States in 16 years. Representing 93 countries, the 4,800 athletes, ranging in age from 35-101, competed in over 200 events in the Sacramento area from July 6-17.

During the event, the group of former Pioneer student-athletes gathered, along with other former track and field athletes not competing at the WMA meet and former coaches, for a reunion. The group, which included former All-Americans, national champions and conference champions, as well as Hall of Fame coaches Don Chu and Jim Santos, shared memories of their time as Pioneer student-athletes.

Cal State East Bay's storied track and field programs have accounted for three of the Pioneers' seven team national championships, with the men capturing the 1977 NCAA Division II crown and the women taking the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Division I title in 1972 and the Division III championship in 1981.

The Pioneers are celebrating the 50th anniversary of intercollegiate athletics at Cal State East Bay. Visit eastbaypioneers.com/50years for more information and daily capsules on Pioneer Athletics history, including many of the great accomplishments of the track and field teams.

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