Pioneer of the Week: Marquise Cherry

Louis LaVenture,
Sports and Campus Editor

Cal State East Bay junior Marquise Cherry dominated the long jump event on Friday at San Francisco State in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and eventually took first place in the event edging out junior Phil Bailey from Chico State and freshman Matt Bowen from UC San Diego.

With just one jump remaining Cherry found himself in third place behind Bailey and Bowen but managed to pull ahead with the sixth best long jump in CSUEB history at 24-feet-10-inches. Cherry automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships that begin on May 21 in Allendale, Michigan at Grand Valley State University.

“Marquise was competing in adverse conditions,” CSUEB Head Coach Ralph Jones said. “He was running into a head wind, the temperature was 20 degrees cooler in San Francisco than it was in Hayward when we departed, and he was in third place with one jump remaining. Through that adversity, he was able to literally rise off the runway and descend into the record books. He shined like a true star on the biggest stage.”

Through that adversity, he was able to literally rise off the runway and descend into the record books. He shined like a true star on the biggest stage.

— Track and Field Head Coach Ralph Jones

Cherry became the second Pioneer to capture first place in any conference championship event since joining the CCAA conference in 2010.

He joins Hayward native Lauren McGlory who captured first place at the championships last season in her final year at CSUEB in the triple jump event.

The five-foot-ten-inch from Diamond Bar and transfer from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut is not imposing physically on the track, yet his results were stellar.

The triple jump was also a success for Cherry where he finished second just behind the freshman Bowen from UCSD. Cherry jumped an impressive 47-feet-7.25-inches (14.51 meters) and edged out UCSD sophomore Derek Van De Streek who jumped 14.18 meters which were good enough for third place in the event.

A leg injury sustained by Cherry in the team 4-x-100 relay forced him to be disqualified from the finals of the 100-meter dash.

Cherry had the third fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter dash on Friday at 10.70 seconds, which tied him with CSULA freshman Johnathan Hill. Cherry is the only Pioneer to qualify for the NCAA Division II Championships that will take place from May 21 through May 23 at Grand Valley State University Track and Field Stadium.

“The toll of so many races and the weather caught up to him and he cramped up and was unable to finish the competition and compete for a chance at the 100-meter title,” Jones said. “The injury is minor and should not affect him for the NCAA championships where he will go into the meet tied for the number five mark in the country.”

Cherry is hopeful that his injury will not affect him at the championships later this month.

“During the finals of the Men’s 4-x-100 meter relay as I was sprinting my curve I felt a really bad tightness happen in my right hamstring and as soon as I felt that I backed off the race which caused me not to finish the relay,” Cherry said.

“Then after that throughout the whole day my hamstring felt like it was cramping.”