Cal Poly to Host USA Pentathlon National Qualifying Event on Jan. 18 and 19

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Top athletes from across the country will compete for a spot on the USA Pentathlon 2020 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, on Dec.14-15. The top four men and four women will be named to Team USA.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to host an event of this magnitude on our campus and support potential Team USA athletes,” said Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “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 run, which combines shooting a laser pistol with cross country running. 

Four of the events for this 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 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.

A full list of event times and locations will be available at 

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. 

Volunteers are also being sought to fill a range of jobs and tasks — including serving as judges or referees, or handing out water to athletes. Sign up to volunteer at

The two-day event will be exciting for fans to watch.

In the opening national qualifier for the 2020 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. Other Team USA qualifiers were: 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 2020 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. Other Team USA qualifiers were: 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.

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives.

About Cal Poly Corporation
Cal Poly Corporation is the nonprofit auxiliary organization to Cal Poly, providing self-supporting, innovative and high-quality services to the university, and assisting the institution to achieve its educational mission. For additional information, visit or call 805-756-1451.

Contact: Aaron Lambert, Cal Poly Corporation

December 18, 2019

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