Gauchos Cruise at Cal Poly Invitational

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara Track and Field team spent their first weekend of spring break tearing it up in the Cal Poly Invitational at Cal Poly. The men's team recorded 141.5 points to top the home team, Cal Poly, which secured 135 points. They were followed by in by Fresno State's 77.5 third place and Cal State Bakersfield 25 point fourth. The women also blew away the competition scoring 98 points followed again by Cal Poly who ended with 79. Fresno managed a close third with 75 points while Cal St. bakersfield brought up fourth place with 39 points and Running Divas posted one point for fifth and last place.

Senior Gaucho Beidi Beer ran an 11 flat 100m dash for fourth place earning the Gaucho's four points in his category. Junior Jennifer Carey also placed fourth in the women's 100m dash with a 12.66 time gaining UCSB three of their total 98 points. 

 Gaucho's track truly showed what they were made of in the Men's 400m dash where Senior Ryan Martin, Junior Jimmy Martin, and Sophomore Winton Mguyen swept first, second, and third for a combined total of 22 points. Their times were 47.36, 48.54, and 49.44 respectively. The Women's team did almost equally as well in the 400m Dash as Junior Amanda Rodrigues ran a 57.73 for second place closely followed by sophomore teammate Camille Petty with 57.74. Senior Gaucho Lauren Kodama also placed in fourth with a 58.13 time to add to the women's accumulated event total of 9 points.

 The 800m Run was close competition between Cal Poly and Santa Barbara but freshman Shyan Vaziri and Senior Rusty Parker landed both first and second place with times of 1:52.24 and 1:54.14 for a combined 14 points. They were followed by three Cal Poly athletes who just couldn't quite seem to catch up. Senior Justine Diaz took first place for the women in their 800m run with 2:11.27 for 8 points and yet another UCSB victory.

The Men's 1,500m run saw Juan Paredes pull through with a third place at a time of 3:51.93. Andrea Jacobs stole third for the women's event as well at a time of 4:34.18. Anthony Ortolan and Jeremy Acosta put blue and gold through the finish line at second and third place of the men's 5,000m race with times of 14.58.84 and 15:06.49 respectively while sophomore Danielle Moreno brought in 6 more Gaucho points with a 5,000m run first place in the women's division at a time of 17.23.76. Her closest follower was teammate Ali Palmer who took second with a time of 18:06.60. The women also placed fifth , sixth, and seventh (Bailey Miller, Megan Petkoic, and Jessica Chadwick) for an extra three points.

The Gauchos only saw more success in the hurdles divisions as three of of the five scoring positions of the men's 110m went to UC Santa Barbara Athletes. Sophomore Sean Johnson took first with a time of 14.86 followed in third and fourth by teammates Mikael Powers (15.11) and Derek Masterson (15.60) for a total of 13 points. Freshman Humberto Garcia brought the Men another three points with his 56.09 second place in the 400m hurdles. Senior Barbara Nwaba also represented the Gauchos in the women's 100m hurdles with a first place at 14.18 granting her team six more points. Teammates Cherise Dixon and Monae Dale brought another ten points with their 1:08.86 and 1:11.48 second and third places in the Women's 400m hurdles.

The Men's 3,000m steeplechase was almost solely dominated by UC Santa barbara athletes as they landed 17 point from a first place win by Senior Andrew Pilavjian who ran a 9:24.24 race. Third was awarded to Freshman Bryce Rause who ran a 9:30.49 and fourth and fifth to sophomores Austin Goodheart (9:41.74) and Kenneth Raedel (9:58:02).

The Men's 1x400m relay team (Walker, Vowels, Harvey, Beer) settled a 42.05 third place while the Women's 4x400m relay team (Petty, McMillion, Rodrigues, Nwaba) saw a 3:57.31 minute second place for 6 points.

UCSB held strong through the field events as well. Junior Mitchell Haag took first place in the Men's high jump with a jump of 2.00m. Andrew Curry brought in another 2.5 points with his fourth place Pole Vault mark of 4.55m and Derek Masterson had a second place long jump score of 6.68m which, combined with teammates Michael Powers and John Walsh 6.56 fourth place and 6.55 fifth place, earned a total of 6.5 points for the Gauchos. Joshua Kimbrough added another 6 points with his 13.34m Second place in triple jump. Arthur Dyson also threw in his two points from fifth place with a 13.17m jump.

 The Women's team was steady throughout the field events as well. Barbara Nwaba took first in the high jump with a 1.8m score. Teammate Helena Montin added an extra point in fifth with a 1.7 jump. Junior Veronica Gines also placed top scores in the Women's long jump with  5.04m for second place.

Gaucho's continued to prosper in the field events as senior Alex Umstead placed first with a 17.13m shot put score closely followed by freshman teammate Kyke Strawn who took third with a 15.48m throw. Senior Julian Samson placed second in the Men's discuss throw at 46.30m while senior Chris Hamilton took second in his Hammer Throw event with a score of 54.48. Many points were earned in these events by the Women's team as well including the 6 earned by junior Irene Kujore who had a shot put score of 14.69 for second place. She also landed a solid lead in first place of the discuss throw with a score of 46.0m sharp. Her closest competitor reached only a 43.00m. Kujore's victories did not stop there. She also managed a very strong first place in the hammer throw putting up a 56.61m score. Second place lagged behind at 51.98m. Teammate Barbara Nwaba brought in another strong three points in the Javelin event with her 39.58 second place.

Overall, both the men's and women's Gaucho teams infused the Cal Poly invitational with an abundance of effort that was answered with exponential success. They stand to enter the upcoming Cal/Nevada Championship in Claremont, California with heads held high in attempt to continue their phenomenal streak.

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