Top athletes from across the country will compete for a spot on the USA Pentathlon Tokyo Olympic team at Cal Poly in January. The university will host the final national qualifying event Jan. 18-19 for up to 50 athletes competing in the modern pentathlon. This is the second of two qualifiers; the first took place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The top four men and four women will be named to Team USA.
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Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said “We are very excited to have the opportunity to host an event of this magnitude on our campus and support potential Team USA athletes. This is a significant opportunity to showcase Cal Poly and our amazing San Luis Obispo County community on a global stage.”
The modern pentathlon puts competitors through five events in one-day fencing, swimming, equestrian ride and a laser gun, which combines shooting a laser pistol with cross country running. Four of the events for this Tokyo Olympic sport will take place on campus, utilizing Cal Poly facilities.
The 200-meter swim will begin at 8 a.m. at Anderson Aquatic Center; fencing will get underway at 9:30 a.m. in the Recreation Center, and the 3,000-meter laser run is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the ASI Sports Complex soccer fields.
The fifth event, equestrian, featuring a 350- to a 450-meter course with 12 to 15 jumps, will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Oak Park Equestrian Center in Edna Valley, about 10 miles south of campus. Competitors will be paired with horses in a draw 20 minutes before the start of the event.
Women athletes will compete Saturday, Jan. 18, and male athletes will follow on Sunday, Jan. 19. Cal Poly students, athletics coaching personnel and community members with specific expertise will provide leadership as chiefs for each of the five disciplines, while others will staff the event, helping support all aspects from logistics to judging and timekeeping.
Cal Poly is the host and local organizing committee for the qualifier, and the Cal Poly Corporation’s Conference and Event Planning is leading the effort to schedule and organize the event. Sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and local businesses that would like to help support the athletes and the competition.
In the opening national qualifier for the Tokyo Olympic season held last weekend, former USC track athlete Jessica Davis started strong and charged throughout the day. Davis took the overall lead after the swimming event and never relinquished it. She finished with 1,301 Pentathlon points. Samantha Achterberg with 1,287 points; Isabella Isaksen with 1,281; and Anna Olesinski, in fourth place, with 1,258 points.
In the men’s qualifier, Amro ElGeziry led from start to finish to win the first Olympic Selection Competition of the Tokyo Olympic season and a spot-on Team USA. The overall standings saw the Cairo-born ElGeziry, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, in first with 1,450 points. Barrett Celecki in second, with 1,414 points, Tyler Evans, 1,401 points and Brendan Anderson, in fourth, with 1,383 points. ElGeziry is married to qualifier Isaksen.