San Luis Obispo, Calif- Junior Albert Hughes opened the morning competition on his first attempt in the hammer with a 199'6 personal best, although it was his last attempt of the day that had everyone buzzing. When the men's discus entered the final round of throwing all of the other events had been completed, with the Gauchos and Mustangs locked in a tie based on the current discus standings. Cal Poly Freshman Arnold Sambel opened the competition with a fine 159'6 heave which controlled the competition until Hughes stepped in the ring for his final attempt.
It's not often a dual meet comes down to a throwing event. Usually the 4 x 400m relay decides a close meet but on this afternoon Albert Hughes beat the buzzer with his final toss.
With the entire Gaucho contingent cheering him on via the adjacent high jump apron, Hughes stomped into the throwing cage and entered the circle huffing with determintation. He wound his 2k implement and uncorked a lifetime best throw of 164'6, propelling the Gauchos to victory with his come from behind win. In a three point swing of the disc, the UCSB men moved to 7-2 against the Mustangs over the previous nine meetings.
Earlier in the afternoon the Gaucho women rallied for the team victory by way of several eye-opening performances. In what was the most complete team effort of the season, the Gaucho women had nineteen season best performances on the day.
Men's Team Scores
Cal Poly 99.5
Women's Team Scores
Cal Poly 98
Combined Team Effort
The Gauchos used a united front to overcome the Mustang's charge. In total the Gauchos won 21 contested events to Cal Poly's 17.
Blue-Green Rivalry Update
With both track wins counting in the yearly tally, UCSB now leads the Blue-Green Rivalry 13-12 on the year.
Top Big West Programs Square Off
The "Battle of the Central Coast" was also a meeting of the two best combined programs in the Big West over the last decade. Tallying each member school's conference finish in Men's and Women's Cross Country and Men's and Women's Track and Field, UCSB and Cal Poly have been a cut above the rest.
In the four championship events UCSB has an average finish of 2.76. Cal Poly is second in the Big West over the last decade with an average finish of 3.19. Both programs have been known for their dedication to building a team model where cross country and track and field have equal importance.
Sophomores Power Team to Win
The Gaucho sophomores were at it again, this time winning five events. None more inspiring than Tori Tsolis' in the 1500m. Taking on four of the top seven runners in the Big West, Tsolis ran her heart out, winning with a new personal best time of 4:26.76. Taking a few notes from her male counter part Shyan Vaziri, Tsolis cut through the backstretch wind and charged home with a smooth finishing stride and BIG ARMS!
In the women's high jump, sophomore Jessica Emde took the win with a clearance of 5'7.
In the women's 100m hurdles, Shannon Trumbull powered her way over the barriers running 13.93w for the win. Sophomore Tori Usgaard took second in 14.51w in her final tune-up before she heads to the Big West Combined Events Championships next Friday and Saturday in Davis.
Sophomore Maxine Goyette won the women's 3,000m steeplechase in 11:00.69. Goyette has ran four straight steeplechase races, winning two (Cal Poly and All CAL) and taking runner-up honors (Cal-Nevada's).
Sophomore Melissa Rake won the women's javelin with a mark of 139'9.
The UCSB junior class also contributed to the win, led by Jessica Johnson. Johnson won the women's 400m with a stellar run of 54.96. Johnson later came back and anchored the women's 4 x 400m relay to the win. Johnson has quickly developed into one of the top 400m runners in the Big West and has shown a natural feel for the long relay with her efficient stride.
Hallie Brauner won the women's 400m hurdles at 62.94. In just her first collegiate track season, Brauner has now won 3 long hurdle races this spring.
Katie Lee, a junior from Mill Valley set a new lifetime best in the women's pole vault, clearing 12'1.5. Lee moved to third all-time at UCSB with her vault.
Senior Kathleen Guzman won the women's hammer and women's discus. Guzman threw a new lifetime best of 155'9 and followed that performance with a new lifetime best in the disc at 148'9. Junior Heather Hawes won the women's shot with a mark of 39'10.
The Gauchos won 7 of 8 throwing events between the men and women, falling only in the men's javelin.
Men Take on Challenge
The Gaucho men have taken on several challenges this year and have compiled a record of 38-4 in scored competitions. Compiling a score against each team, the Gauchos have competed in a total of seven multi-team or dual scored meets. UCSB has won two duals of the year, against UC Riverside and Cal Poly. Their only scored loses came at the Cal Nevada Championships, where they finished fourth out of 23 teams and at the Big West Challenge, taking runner-up honors to Long Beach St.
The men showed their depth by performing strong across the board while setting 23 season's best performances.
Senior's Evan Walker and Jake Vowels showed they are nearing into championship form with their electric 100m performances. Walker shot out of a cannon, scorching the track in a time of 10.50. Jake Vowels was close behind, lifting his knees and driving his arms to the tape, breaking in 10.69. Freshman Lee Duncan took fifth overall with a time of 10.93. Walker's time would have shattered the UCSB school record if the wind had been a notch lower. The race had been gauged at 2.1, just over the allowable 2.0 for record purposes.
Those three combined with 400m specialist, Winton Nguyen, to win the men's 4 x 100m relay with a new season best time of 41.26. In the weekly team meeting held Friday afternoon in the ICA Auditorium at UCSB, Coach Anderson alluded to the relays getting back on track, "I'd keep an eye on the relays this weekend" Anderson told the team. Not one to talk much, Anderson was spot on in his assessment.
Walker combined with Severiano to take 2-3 in the men's 200m. Walker ran a lifetime best of 21.78 to Severiano's own lifetime half-lap time of 21.80.
A good teammate picks another up when his is down. A good teammate sets the pace into the wind. A good teammate can give that extra life in your legs as you barrel down the homestretch. A good teammate can carry you to a new PR. One thing has been certain in 2014- if you are lining up with Shyan Vaziri you better buckle up because it's going to be a fast ride.
If it seems like the mid-distances have provided some of the most memorable moments of the season it is because they have. Shyan Vaziri and company were at it again this Saturday. Junior Greg Dotson took the men's 800m out hard, trying to hold off Cal Poly's stud John Guerrero, last year's Big West runner-up in the event. It wasn't Guerrero whom Dotson had to worry about on the final straight, rather Vaziri as he emerged from the depths of the final stagger charging like a lion at dinnertime. Vaziri won in 1:51.93. Dotson recorded his best time of the season in 1:52.32, taking a close second.
Earlier in the day the men's 1500m got the crowd on their feet. Shyan Vaziri took the lead late and threw down another lethal finishing kick- this time with teammate Bryce Rausa in close tow. Cal Poly freshman Clayton Hutchins stayed in the mix late and the final sprint was wild. Bryce Rausa, a hard working steeplechaser by trade, finished in 3:48.91, expanding his range and legitimately becoming a Big West scoring threat in the 800m, 1500m, 3,000m Steeplechase and 5,000m.
Vaziri won the 1500m in 3:46.84, carrying Rausa to a new lifetime best.
In the men's shot put, senior Pat Smith took control of the competition on his first throw and never let it go. Smith threw a lifetime best 51'3.75, winning the key scoring event for the Gauchos as the entire throws squad cheered from the nearby grass. Denley Rodriguez took third with a heave of 50'1.25.
Senior Sean Johnson threw down a season best 110m hurdle effort to win in 14.39. Johnson is rounding into championship form heading into the Big West Championships which are less than two weeks away.
Oscar Pearson won the long and triple jump with marks of 23' and 44'8. Pearson's metric jump of 7.01m was just off his season best leap of 7.02m.
NEXT UP: BIG WEST!
Next week the Gauchos will take a large combined event squad up to UC Davis for the first weekend of championship action. The heptathlon and decathlon will be held on May 9-10.
The regular Big West Championship will be held one week later on May 16-17.