Gauchos Tune-Up for Big West at Occidental Invitational
Los Angeles, Calif- Competing in their last meet before heading up to UC Davis for the Big West Championships, the Gauchos were in action Saturday at Occidental College for the Oxy Invite. The Gauchos competed on the track and in the field in what is known as one of the best distance running venues in the country.
The UCSB women made some serious noise early well before the distance events dominated the track.
Jessica Johnson continues to build on her stellar season, this time running a new lifetime best in the 400m with an electric 53.77.
Johnson moved up to third all-time in the UCSB history book. She is now tied with UC Davis' Cekarri Nixon for the Big West lead in the event. In the NCAA West Region, Johnson moved to 30th overall, likely securing an NCAA bid with one week to go before the super conference weekend.
Johnson took second overall in the competition behind World Championship 800m finalist Maggie Vessey. Vessey ran 52.82.
Sophomore Tori Tsolis kept the momentum rolling right into her 800m race, running a new lifetime best of 2:09.65. Tsolis won her heat and took 8th overall. Tsolis has created a compelling argument to double at the Big West Championships in the 800m and 1500m- she is currently ranked third in the Big West in the 1500m and fifth in the 800m.
Tsolis also moved into fourth overall in the UCSB all-time books in the 800m. She is eighth in the 1500m in school history.
Also in the women's 800m, Freshman Jade Fuller ran a time of 2:14.47.
In the Men's 100m, Evan Walker and Jake Vowels recorded times of 10.75 and 10.92 respectively.
In the men's 400m Winton Nguyen ran a season's best time of 48.22.
Preparing for the likely double at the Big West Championships, Shyan Vaziri took the line at Oxy for one last speed workout before he lines up next week in Davis. All he did Saturday was become the seventh Gaucho to dip under 1:50 in the 800m, running a new lifetime best in 1:49.05.
Vaziri now sits 14th in the NCAA West Region in the 800m and 1500m.
Vaziri took 9th overall in a field where 68 men broke 2 minutes.
Greg Dotson continued his success at Oxy, running 1:51.15. Dotson ranks seventh in the Big West in the 800m and could be a potential nightmare for the Big West field as he seems to be regaining the speed he used at Burbank High School to take second in the CIF State Championships in the event.
In the men's 1500m, Tommy Poston found a new gear as he shifted into a time of 3:51.63, a new personal best for the freshman.
Kathleen Guzman led the Gauchos in the field. Guzman threw a new personal best in the hammer with a toss of 160'2. She also competed in the discus, throwing 145'11.
Former Gauchos and Staff in Action
This weekend the Gaucho nation was out in full force as several former UCSB athletes competed in Southern California.
Assistant Coach Annett Fleming competed in the heptathlon at Claremont. Winning the event with a score of 5,828, Annett will now focus her attention on competing internationally this summer in her native country Germany. Fleming has the best score in Germany at the moment and sits 8th on the IAAF World List after her 5,918 score at the Mt. Sac Relays.
Former NCAA All-American Barbara Nwaba also competed in individual events in Claremont with Annett as she prepares for the USATF Championships in June. Nwaba jumped 5'10.75 in the high jump to highlight her single event work.
In the men's 800m at Occidental, two former Gauchos put up impressive times. All-American's Ryan Martin and Tetlo Emmen each recorded a season's best time as they added to one of the best 800m fields on US soil assembled this past weekend.
Martin, representing Asics took third overall in a time of 1:47.24.
Emmen, running for Brooks ID clipped a 1:48.03 good for sixth overall.
Last year's Big West runner-up in the 1500m Juan Parades was in action at Oxy running 3:45.86. Parades took 8th overall.
In the field events former Big West Champion Mitch Haag took second overall with a leap of 7'0.25. Haag has eclipsed the 7' barrier no fewer than 6 times this season.
In the men's hammer former Gaucho Alex Umstead took the win with a throw of 205'1. Umstead was the Big West bronze medalist in the hammer and shot put in 2012, helping the Gauchos to the overall team title.