Men's Track and Field Preview, Round-Up
The Gaucho Track and Field squads will make their 2014 outdoor season debut this weekend, Saturday, Feb. 22nd, at Westmont College for the annual Round-Up. Also competing in the competition will be Westmont and Pepperdine. The field events will start at 10am with the men's hammer while the track events begin at noon with the 4 x 100m relay. Always efficient in running their home competitions, Westmont has the final event (the men's 4 x 400m relay) scheduled to start at 2:45pm.
UCSB, Westmont, Pepperdine
When: February 22nd
Start Times @ 10 am Field events- 12pm Track events
Where: Westmont College
When: February 22nd @ 5pm
Where: UCSB ICA
Inviting Track and Field Parents and Alumni to attend the meet and/or the dinner for a casual night of fun and entertainment with athletes/ coaches as our annual fundraiser for the track and field program.
Activities include: Athletes putting on talent show, silent auction/raffle, t-shirt sales, and games.
After the conclusion of the competition, the UCSB Track and Field Program would like to invite everyone to attend the annual Round-up dinner which will be held in the UCSB Intercollegiate Athletics Building, known as the ICA. Doors will open at 5pm with dinner being served at 6pm. The dress will be casual.
**The ICA is located adjacent to the track. If you follow El Colegio Road east it will turn into Ocean Road, with paid parking available directly across the street in front of the Thunderdome. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door the evening of the event.
Over the years, UCSB has developed into a distance running destination. Year in and year out UCSB has developed some of the finest distance runners in the Big West Conference. This year is no exception as Head Coach Pete Dolan has assembled yet another outstanding group. Shyan Vaziri, Brian Guijarro, Tyler Brady, Andrew Farkas, Bryce Rausa, Anthony Ortolan, Adam Avila, Greg Dotson, Abel Mogesse, Wyatt Anderson and Austin Goodheart are all returners who have Big West experience- including 8 returning scorers from last years championship meet. Freshman who could challenge for scoring positions in the conference are Paul Mohr, George Baier, Jackson Bright, Pierce Miller, Nathan Torres, Connor Rafferty and Tommy Poston. With a stable of returners and an influx of new talent, look for the Gaucho harriers to grab their share of headlines this spring.
In just his first year at the helm of the Gaucho Sprint squad, Assistant Coach Travis Anderson rewrote just about every record in the book. One record although, was just .07 out of reach for the 2013 crew- the men's 4 x 100m. Michael Aiken, Lee Duncan, Nate Harvey, Evan Walker and Jake Vowels will all be in the relay pool aiming to take down the benchmark time of 40.94, set back in 2007. The Gauchos look to continue their strong 4 x 400m presence with 5th place conference finisher in the 400m Winton Nguyen back. In 2013 alone, the Gaucho men recorded 36 separate performances in the 400m below 50 seconds.
2013 NCAA First Round qualifier Sean Johnson will have some new faces to train with as he aims to improve upon his third place finish in the 110HH at last year's Big West Championship. Johnson put together perhaps his finest collegiate race enroute to his podium finish and NCAA bid in the Big West Final. His time of 14.28 ranks third all-time at UCSB. Joining Johnson will be Troy Hardy, Miles McDonald, Louis Mowers and Markell Stine. All four bring in impressive hurdle marks from their prep days.
Drill to Thrill
Continuing their proud tradition, the Gaucho throws squad has trained hard and spent another offseason drilling into shape. They will be led by junior Albert Hughes, last year's Big West runner-up in the men's hammer. Returners Pat Smith and Stephen Leach will add depth in the weight events. Keep an eye on the following members of the javelin squad: Spencer Neste, Jerrick Zhang and Matthew Kuskey. There are also several new additions to the throws group in Denley Rodriguez, Zach Tombol, Austin Sahs and Cody Ramage. As seniors, Tombol was a CIF State Finalist in the discus and Sahs impressed in the hammer, competing with the Golden State Throwers Club in Sacramento. Ramage was a junior college state finalist in the shot put while attending Shasta College.
The UCSB multi-event program has experienced a great deal of success as of late. But with the departure of two-time Big West Champion Derek Masterson, the next line of young decathletes will look to carry the torch for the Gauchos. Sophomore Ike Okpara will be joined by newcomers Darion Williams, Gavin Koehn, Brendan Weaver and Jeff Oechsli. Williams, a transfer from Cal, was a CIF State Finalist in the 110H as a senior at Vista Murrieta High School. Weaver and Oechsli bring impressive sprint and hurdle resume with them to UCSB. Joining the multi-eventers in the jumping events will be junior, Oscar Pearson, a talented dual threat in the long and triple jumps.
The Gauchos will compete at Westmont before heading to UC San Diego for the All UC meet on March 8th followed by a two meet set against UC Riverside on March 15th and 27-29.