LOS ANGELES, Calif. - While the multi-event athletes were busy kicking off the Big West Championship season, a small contingent of Gauchos competed at the Occidental Invitational. Using the meet as a final tune-up for the Big West finale, UCSB added four marks to the All-Time list, highlighted by Tori Tsolis' #2 AT 1,500m clip of 4:21.95.
Known as a high powered distance event meet, the Oxy Invite has become a late season staple for Gauchos needing a final meet to dial things in for the conference championships.
UCSB junior Tori Tsolis made the most of the opportunity, placing second in a field of 46 runners, lowering her personal best to 4:21.95. Using a blistering last lap of 66 seconds, Tsolis showed the form that earned her the Big West Silver medal on year ago. Her final 300m was recorded in 48 seconds.
Tsolis moves up from #5 to #2 on the UCSB list. She is now 1.05 seconds from Lauren Christman's school record of 4:20.90, set back in 2005.
Tsolis now ranks #3 on the Big West season list and #37 in the NCAA West Region.
Rebekah Ent, a redshirt freshman from Moraga, Ca., dropped her 800m best by nearly two seconds and in doing so stamped her name on the UCSB All-Time list at #6. Ent, a former 400m standout at Miramonte HS, stayed patient in the transition up to the two lap event and was rewarded Saturday with a new personal best time of 2:10.49.
Jessica Johnson competed in the 400m for the Gauchos, running 54.42 to place seventh overall. Johnson is ranked third in the Big West on the season list and will go into next weekends championship as the reigning Big West Bronze medalist.
On the men's side, Andrew Farkas dropped under 1:51 for the first time in his career, moving to #10 All-Time on the UCSB 800m list. Farkas was followed closely by teammate Greg Dotson, who finished in a fine 1:51.28.
Former UCSB Gaucho and current Asiscs professional runner, Ryan Martin placed third overall with a 1:48.61 effort. Martin was in the Bahamas last weekend for the IAAF World Relays, serving as an alternate for the USA's Gold medal winning 4 x 800m squad.
Pierce Miller also competed in the 800m for the Gauchos, running 1:53.96.
Myles McDonald broke onto the All-Time list in the 400m at #10 with a 52.69 clip. McDonald will be a key member of the Gauchos conference squad as he will be doubling up with the 400m hurdles and 4 x 400m relays.
Senior Humberto Garcia also lowered his personal best in the long hurdles, running a nice 53.42.
Markell Stine ran 54.85 in the 400m hurdles.
In the long jump, Clark Nelson leaped out to 22'1 to place ninth overall.
Check back with ucsbgauchos.com for a Big West preview and a full selection of meet links sure to keep you up to date with all of next weekends conference action.