SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - With temperatures hovering in the mid-70's, the UCSB track and field teams enjoyed favorable conditions for their 2016 outdoor opener. On a beautiful day at Westmont College, the Gauchos competed in a three team dual on both the men's and women's side, going up against Pepperdine and the home Warrirors.
The UCSB men won 17 of the 18 events contested. The UCSB women took home 14 event wins of their own.
Men's Scores (In double dual format)
UCSB 127, Westmont 54
UCSB 132, Pepperdine, 11
UCSB 123.5, Westmont 67.5
UCSB 125, Pepperdine, 42
Distance Events Rundown
The Gaucho men put on a marvelous display of racing in the men's mile. UCSB junior George Baier outlasted a talented field which included the Big West 10k runner-up in Anthony Ortolan and 1,500m specialist Bradford Littooy. Ortolan did the bulk of the pacing early in the race but on the final lap Baier shifted gears and wouldn't be denied, winning the first collegiate race of his career in 4:10.55.
Littooy moved up to second in 4:11.79 and Ortolan finished third in 4:11.88, lowering his previous mile best by four seconds.
If Ortolan was down on his luck for his final lap miscue in the mile he didn't show it. Stepping up in distance to the 3,000m, Ortolan quickly found his groove and would go on to a convincing early season win in 8:26.09- the fastest opener of his career.
"It was a really fun day." said Ortolan.
"It's been a long time since we've had the whole team together, back in uniform for a meet. You could see our hard work paying off. We had a few PR's today which is a great sign."
Patrick Bourke, a UCSB sophomore, lowered his 3k PR by 12 seconds, finishing in second with a 8:26.43 clip. Baier doubled back and finished third with a 33 second 3k best, 8:28.04.
In the 800m, Paul Mohr took the win in 1:55.55. Winning a dead sprint to the tape, Mohr edged a pack of three, all finishing within 3 tenths of a second.
UCSB 400m hurdle man, Myles McDonald stepped up in distance for an early season bout of strength work, finishing fourth overall in the second team scoring slot for the Gauchos in a very respectable 1:56.16.
On the women's side, it was all about Gaucho freshman Sabrina Janes. Showing why she was a highly touted prep harrier, Janes took the win in the mile in her first college race.
Locking horns with Westmont's Jessica Meyer's, an NAIA National Championship qualifier in the mile, Janes had to turn it on over the length of the home straight to take the win. She crossed the line first with a time of 5:08.34 to Meyer's 5:08.56.
"It was awesome to be a part of such a positive vibe." said Janes.
"The Olé got me pumped up to go compete for my teammates."
Jenna Hinkle, a UCSB sophomore, placed third in 5:11.15.
While the mile was a story of youth for the Gauchos, the 3,000m had a different script as three battle tested seniors took to the line.
Victoria Tsolis, a two-time NCAA qualifier and UCSB Econ graduate student took the win in 10:03.95, a 28 second PR.
Maxine Goyette and Sarah Schreck led the chase pack on Tsolis, with Goyette holding on for second in 10:22.11. Schreck crossed the line in 10:27.61. Both Goyette and Schreck recorded the fastest opening times of their career.
Hinkle doubled back and finished in 10:34.37 just ahead of UCSB freshman Tori Yanco who finished in 10:40.02.
Sprints, Hurdles and Relay Rundown
The women's 100m hurdle race provided the lone dents to the UCSB All-Time list on Saturday. UCSB freshman, Hope Bender and Erika Foster took the blocks in their first outdoor race looking like seasoned vets for the Gauchos.
Running stride for stride over the first 6 hurdles, Foster and Bender had already separated from the field with the only question remaining of who was going to take the win.
Bender had the advantage over the 10th barrier and closed well to the tape, taking the win in 14.45. Foster was a step back in 14.59.
Bender moves to #5 All-Time in UCSB history for her effort while Foster now finds herself ranked #7.
Hallie Brauner, a UCSB senior and 400m hurdle specialist, took the line in the open, winning the women's 400m in 58.46.
In the women's 200m, Betsy Armitage placed second with a 25.89 effort.
The UCSB women won the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays in 47.58 and 3:54.49 respectively.
In the men's 400m, Alex Huggins took the win in 49.57. Finishing a close second was UCSB freshman Stephen Hernandez in 49.79.
UCSB freshman Callan Cochran took the win in the 200m, running a solid home stretch and finishing in 22.78. Cochran also anchored the Gauchos 4 x 100m team to victory in 42.4.
The UCSB women's pole vault crew had a field day, taking the top four spots in the competition.Lauren Larson, Sierra Emrick and Brooke Pestano all cleared 11'6.25. Each women then went on to take solid looks at a 12 foot bar. Cassidy Pend was fourth with a jump of 10'11.
Jazmin Moss, a UCSB freshman from Westminster, CA, made quite the impression in her outdoor debut, taking wins in the long and triple jumps for the Gauchos.
Moss opened the day with a 17.8.5 leap in the long jump, outdistancing a field of fifteen jumpers.
She came back in the afternoon to win the triple jump with a leap of 37'6, just 4 inches off making the UCSB All-Time list.
Alivia Schlueter, another UCSB freshman, placing second in the triple jump with a new lifetime best leap of 37'0.25.
UCSB senior Jessica Emde took the win in the high jump with a leap of 5'7. This was the seventeenth collegiate high jump victory for Emde. After her clearance at 5'7, Emde moved the bar to 6', taking three looks at the prestigous barrier.
UCSB freshman Taylor Eddleman placed second with a leap of 5'5.
Andre Kasten took the long jump win for the UCSB men with a leap of 21'11.
UCSB freshman Joshua Rennick leapt out to 45'0.5 to win the triple jump in his first UCSB appearance.
UCSB sophomore Kayla O'Brine started the meet for the Gauchos by winning the women's hammer with a new personal best throw of 163'8. O'Brine inched up her position on the UCSB All-Time hammer list at #10, a spot she already owned dating back to last season as a freshman.
Kayla Thayer placed second in the hammer with a new PR throw of 147'10.
Thayer came back and won the shot put with another lifetime best, finding a throw of 43'0.25. UCSB junior Lara Lewis placed second with a throw of 42'1.
Ashley Alama, a UCSB senior, won the discus with a throw of 145'1.
O'Brine placed second in discus with a throw of 140'3.
In perhaps the biggest performance from the group, UCSB senior Melissa Rake, a two-time NCAA qualifier in the javelin won the event with a throw of 142'3. This was the best opening throw of Rake's career.
"I loved watching my teammates go for it today." said Rake.
"This was a great way to get the momentum going for the season."
On the men's side, UCSB junior Stephen Leach started the day for the Gauchos with a hammer heave of 171'2.
"I was excited to go out there and see where we're at as a team." said Leach.
"It was good to see the freshman compete and for us to get back into the season. Everyone is excited for what's to come."
Leach came back and won the discus with a lifetime best throw of 152'11.
UCSB freshman Chris Ruggles took the win in the shot put with a toss of 48'11. UCSB junior Denley Rodriguez threw 48'1 to place second.
Howe opened the competition with a throw of 193'11 to take the lead through the early rounds.
Kuskey, last season's Big West Bronze medalist in the event would answer in the third round, firing off a throw of 195'11, a mark which would hold on for the win.
The Gauchos will next turn their attention to the All-Cal meet, hosted by UC San Diego on Saturday, March 5th.