San Diego, CA – The Men's and Women's Track and Field teams emerged victorious Saturday at the All-UC Challenge hosted by UC San Diego. The Gauchos faced Big West rival UC Irvine and host UC San Diego in this early season tri-meet and left with an unprecedented number of personal bests, meet records, and UCSB school records.
UC Santa Barbara 169.5
UC San Diego 133.5
UC Irvine 72
UC Santa Barbara 177
UC San Diego 134
UC Irvine 63
"We put in a solid day of work down here. We've built a great relationship with Tony (UCSD's Head Coach) and this meet is always an early highlight of our season. His staff does a great job and usually we come out of this meet with a couple of big marks." -Associate Head Coach Cody Fleming.
Sike Azu-Irondi 100m 10.55 (Wind 1.5)
Kordell Hampton Discus 178'0"
Sike Azu-Arondi 100m 10.55
Adam Avila 3000m Steeplechase 9:00.40
Jenna Hinkle 1500m 4:28.20
The Gaucho distance crew enjoyed wins in 7 of the 8 distance events on the track.
The men followed this up with a 1-2 Steeple punch of their own with SR Adam Avila debuting with a 9:00.20 and FR Austin Lay following in a PR of 9:21.33. Avila's front-running performance broke a 15 year old meet record and was an indicator of great things to come for the veteran steepler.
Up next was the 1500m, with JR Jenna Hinkle and SR Andrew Verdin taking home the wins. Hinkle would run 4:28.20 to break an 11 year old meet record while Verdin would kick hard the final 80m to log a 3:57.82.
The Men's 800m was similarly won by SO James Douglass in 1:55.22. Verdin would complete a solid double finishing 3rd in 1:56.15. SR Kaitlin Large would finish runner-up in the Women's 800m with a time of 2:18.34.
JR Jenna Hinkle would double back to put on a dominant performance in the Women's 3000m. Leading wire to wire, Hinkle would set a personal best of 9:46.71. This moves her up to #9 on the UCSB All-Time list. SO Miranda Ross would unleash a fierce kick to finish behind Hinkle in 10:09.92.
The Men's 3000m was mastered by JR Carlos Guijarro. Taking the lead from 4 laps to go, Guijarro never lost form as he went on to win in 8:30.68, a new personal best. True FR Isaiah Lozano would put on a great battle in his first race in UCSB uniform to finish 2nd in 8:37.69.
Head Coach Pete Dolan was impressed with the fight the veterans put forth along with the efforts of the Freshmen that raced fearlessly at this meet.
Sprints, Hurdles and Relays
The race of the day on the track belonged to Sike Azu-Irondi. In his first 100m dash since being sidelined from injury most of last season, the Junior executed an outstanding debut of 10.55. After the race had finished, Head Coach Pete Dolan knew he had done something special – and he did. Coach and Athlete would look up at the official results board to see a UCSB school record set in 1987 go down, making Azu-Irondi the fastest man in Gaucho history. He also broke a 4 year old meet record.
"Sike and Kordell stole the show for us this year. Our 100m record is a jewel a lot of men have gone after. It now belongs to Sike. Hats off to him and Coach Anderson" reflected Associate Head Coach Cody Flemming.
In the women's 100m, SO Alana Epps set a collegiate best of 12.34 to place 2nd.
Shannon Trumbull and Morgan Simpson both doubled back to take more individual wins. Trumbull took the 400m hurdles in a new personal best of 61.43 and Simpson covered 200m in 25.80. SO Brianna Cheeks placed 2nd in the 200m with a 25.85.
Starting off with the Women's Long Jump, the Gauchos went 1-4 on the competition. SO Jazmin Moss headlined the event with a leap of 17'11.75".
JR Jeff Lam also finished on top in the men's Long Jump with a new best of 23'2.5".
Jazmin Moss doubled back in the Women's Triple Jump to win in a mark of 38'0.25". SO Alivia Schlueter found her groove and finished right behind with 37'3.0".
In the women's High Jump, Puck DeRoos would leap over her highest bar yet to tie for second in a height of 5'4.25".
To round out the jumps, JR Parker Curry would win the Men's Pole Vault in 16'0.75".
Sprints/Jumps coach Travis Anderson was very pleased with the solid efforts and early season accomplishments across the board.
Hampton and Leach would continue to push each other in the Men's Discus to new heights. In Kordell Hampton's final throw, the Sophomore would take 1st place and a new UCSB School Record. 178'0" would be a six inch personal best and break a record set in 1984. It proved to be a throw for the ages and like teammate Azu-Irondi, marked the beginning of a very promising season.
Throws/Multis Coach Fleming was excited with what he saw transpire. "Kordell and Stephen traded the lead throughout the discus competition with Stephen throwing 172'6 in the last round to take the lead. Kordell was the only thrower left and he nailed it. I think Stephen woke him up a little bit. It's always cool for me to see teammates pushing each other like that and each coming out with new PR's".
Leach would move up to #4 UCSB All-Time with his second place throw of 172'6.75".
On the Women's side, SR Valerie Nestor also put forth a special performance in the Women's Hammer to set a new personal best of 184'3.25".
And last but not least, the Gauchos continued excellence in the Men's and Women's Javelin competition.
The Gaucho men took care of business to take the first four spots in the Men's Javelin. SR Matthew Kuskey unleashed a 209'4.75" throw to place first. He would lead JR Jerrick Zhang to a new collegiate best of 187'10.5". Zach Tombol would follow for 3rd and JR Transfer Chris Ross would begin his UCSB career well with a 181'5.0" mark for fourth.
The Gauchos will head to the Ben Brown Invitational at CSU Fullerton next weekend to continue this momentum under the lights Friday night and throughout the day Saturday.