McDonald and Rake Pace Record Setting Weekend at the Aztec Invite

McDonald and Rake Pace Record Setting Weekend at the Aztec Invite

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Gauchos had a strong showing at the Aztec Open and Invite, headlined by new school records in the women's javelin and men's 400m hurdles. Competing on Friday and Saturday, the UCSB track and field teams took home eight individual event wins and placed 20 athletes in the top-three in their respective events. At the conclusion of the meet, eleven athletes found new positions on the UCSB All-Time list. 

"We showed progress in all of our event areas this weekend." said Associate Head Coach Cody Fleming. 

"Myles and Melissa were on their game. Our runners raced well and we saw some nice individual performances throughout the team."

Aztec Invite Results

Three Years in a Row for Rake

UCSB senior Melissa Rake reset her UCSB school record in the javelin Saturday with a throw of 154'9. Rake initially broke the record at the Big West meet at UC Davis in 2014, her sophomore year, and has rebroken it both her junior and senior seasons. She currently has the top throw in the conference. 

McDonald Lowers UCSB Record in 400m Hurdles

In 1979, a UCSB undergrad named Jamie Starmer delivered a 51.59 performance in the 400m hurdles, national class for the time. It would take 37 years and six challengers within half-a-second for his record to fall. Running in the open section Friday, McDonald joined that list by running a then best 51.94, placing second in the division. On Saturday he returned to the blocks, this time with a different strategy- go out hard and hold on. From the sound of the gun he charged hard, not slowing down until a few meters after the finish line. But first he broke the tape in 51.55, erasing one of UCSB's oldest records. McDonald now has the fastest time in the Big West on the season list. 

UCSB Top-Ten Additions

George Baier 1,500m 3:48.06 #9 All-Time
Parker Curry Pole Vault 16'4.75 #6 All-Time
Matthew Kuskey Javelin 218'6 #6 All-Time
Hope Bender 100m Hurdles 14.09 #3 All-Time
Taylor Eddleman High Jump 5'7 #7 All-Time
Jazmin Moss Triple Jump 38'2 #7 All-Time
Alivia Schlueter Triple Jump 37'11.25 #10 All-Time
Kayla O'Brine Hammer 170'5 #8 All-Time
Sierra Emrick Pole Vault 12'8 #2 All-Time
Melissa Rake Javelin 154'9 UCSB School Record*
Myles McDonald 400m Hurdles 51.55 UCSB School Record*

UCSB Women's Recap 

Tsolis Seeing Double

UCSB grad student Tori Tsolis pulled double duty at the Aztec, winning the 1,500m and placing second in the 800m. Tsolis delivered another strong closing lap in the 1,500m and put an early season scare on the UCSB record with her 4:23.67 showing. She came back and broke the tape in 800m in 2:10.63 to place third. 

Women's Jumps Crew Stepping it Up

It was a double win weekend for the Gauchos in the high jump, starting with freshman Taylor Eddleman equaling her lifetime best to win the open section on Friday. On Saturday, UCSB senior Jessica Emde took the win, clearing a season best 5'9.25. Eddleman landed on the All-Time list for her performance, now tied for #10 All-Time. 

Freshman Sierra Emrick continued her hotstreak in the pole vault. Emrick jumped 12'2.5 in the open section. She then reloaded on Saturday, clearing a new lifetime best of 12'8, now the second best vault in school history for the local Morro Bay star. 

Jazmin Moss and Alivia Schlueter added fuel to the Gaucho jump efforts with their triple jump performances. Moss recorded five jumps over 37 feet and had a best of 38'2, the #7 mark in school history. Schlueter was just as impressive, recording a new lifetime best of 37'11.25. 

Moss and Schlueter are both freshman. 

Bender on a Roll

The UCSB women's team put their freshman on display all weekend, so it was only fitting their hurdlers would get into the mix. Hope Bender lowered her lifetime best in the 100m hurdles to 14.09 in the invitational section, moving to #3 All-Time in UCSB history. Bender then recorded a new best in the shot put of 35'3. 

Erika Foster ran another solid set over the barriers, finishing in 14.53. 

Season and Personal Best Performances for the Throwers

Kayla O'Brine put together the best hammer series of her career and moved to #8 All-Time with her best mark of 170'5. She also threw a near best 154'3 in the discus. 

Ashley Alama recorded a discus throw of 151'3. Lara Lewis found a season best in the discus of 144'10. 

Valerie Nestor threw 169'6 in the hammer. 

Kayla Thayer set a new personal best in the shot put with a throw of 43'6.5. Thayer's mark was half-an-inch away from breaking onto the All-Time list. 

Women's Running Notes 

Jenna Hinkle ran a strong 800m on Saturday, finishing in 2:12.73. Close behind her was Kaitlin Large in 2:14.95. 

Betsy Armitage ran a season best in the 400m, finishing in 56.25. 

Maxine Goyette, a conference medalist in the steeple, stepped down to the 1,500m for some early season speed work and ran 4:36.77, besting a field of 76 athletes.

UCSB Men's Recap 

Good Olé Fashioned Racing

The Gauchos had a strong showing in the distances, led by a 1-4 sweep in the 1,500m invite.Shyan Vaziri yet again showed his lethal closing speed, finishing his final 200m in under 28 seconds to claim the win. As Vaziri broke the field with 400m to go to chase the clock, three men took the bait. Vaziri crossed the line in 3:47.54 with a flurry of teammates in blue following him in. George Baier ran a terrific race, finishing in 3:48.06. Anthony Ortolan placed third in 3:50.46 and Brad Littooy placed fourth in 3:51.11. 

Baier moves to #9 All-Time in the event. 

Seeded in the open section of the 1,500m, Patrick Bourke made the most of his opportunity, winning the race with an eye opening 3:49.78 clip. Bourke ran a great last lap himself and took down an open field of 90 runners. 

In the 800m, the Gauchos continued to clip off season and lifetime best performances. In the open section on Friday, Andrew Farkas dropped his season best time to 1:53.01. Freshman James Douglass took the reigns on Saturday in the invite, running 1:52.90. Paul Mohr broke the tape in 1:53.73. 

Curry Leads Men's Jumps

After clearing 15'7 in the open section, UCSB sophomore Parker Curry decided it was time to move to a bigger set of poles. Saturday he did just that, upping his lifetime best to 16'4.75, the 5m gold standard in the event. Curry, last years Big West runner-up, moves to #6 in UCSB history for his performance. 

Josh Rennick upped his season best in the triple jump to 45'10.5 to place second. 

Andrei Kasten jumped 22'9.75 in the long jump and Tyler Nelson sailed to 22'4.25, both season bests. Nelson also upped his shot put best to 44'7. Wyatt Thompson-Siporen jumped out to 21'10.75. Thompson-Siporen also threw a new best in the discus of 141'10. 

Leach Turning into a Triple Threat

UCSB junior Stephen Leach recorded personal bests in two of his three throwing events starting with a new hammer best on Friday morning. Leach placed third in the open hammer with a new lifetime best throw of 180'8. He then recorded a mark of 51'2 in the shot put before adding to his discus best with a throw of 158'0. 

Kuskey Goes Deep 

In one of the biggest performances of the weekend, UCSB junior Matt Kuskey won the invite section in the javelin against a loaded field of throwers. Kuskey put over 13 feet on his previous best, throwing a mark of 218'6. In picking up his second collegiate win, Kuskey moves to the top spot in the Big West on the year. 

Sam Adams and UCLA Next Up 

The Gaucho decathletes and heptathletes will take to Westmont next weekend, April 1-2 for the Sam Adams Invite, named after the former UCSB Head Coach and early multi-event pioneer. The rest of the team is scheduled to compete at UCLA on both Friday and Saturday. Check back with for meet previews and a recap of the weekend's events.