Photo Credit: Lloyd Sicard
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Senior Hope Bender was distinguished with Big West Conference Field Athlete of the Year accolades for the second year in a row thanks to her endless list of accomplishments from the 2019 track and field season. Bender single handedly scored 38 points at the Big West Conference Championships on her home track to help the lady Gauchos take second overall behind winners Cal State Fullerton, 123 to 129.5.
At the conference meet, Bender was first in the heptathlon (5814 points), first in the long jump (6.29m/20' 7.75"), first in the 400m hurdles (56.64), and second in the 100m hurdles (13.46). Her time in the 400m hurdles would shatter the previous school record set by Bender at last year's conference meet by almost 1.5 seconds as well as break the meet record of 57.09 by Cal Poly's Lebron Martin back in 2003. She also broke the meet record in the heptathlon of 5709 by U.S. Olympian and former Gaucho Barbara Nwaba set back in 2012. For the NCAA Postseason, Hope is currently ranked third in the nation in both the heptathlon and the 400m hurdles.
Big West All-Conference Team
Eleven UC Santa Barbara Athletes, including Bender, were named Big West All-Conference by placing within the top three of their respective events at the Big West Conference Championships, including three who scored in multiple events. Those included in this list are mentioned below.
Alex Barr (Men's 1500m, Third Place, 3:52.96)
Kordell Hampton (Men's Discus, 53.80m [176' 6"])
Graham Michiels (Men's High Jump, Third Place, 2.05m [6' 8.75"])
Tyler Nelson (Men's Decathlon, First Place, 7420 points)
Nick Randazzo (Men's 10000m, First Place, 30:49.22)
Brian Schulz (Men's 5000m, Second Place, 14:49.48)
Hope Bender (Women's Heptathlon, First Place, 5814 points)
(Women's Long Jump, First Place, 6.29m [20' 7.75"])
(Women's 100m Hurdles, Second Place, 13.46)
(Women's 400m Hurdles, First Place, 56.64)*
*UCSB School Record
Katie Camarena (Women's Steeplechase, First Place, 10:34.21)
(Women's 1500m, Third Place, 4:31.96)
(Women's 5000m, Second Place, 17:11.46)
Chloe Cox (Women's Steeplechase, Second Place, 10:36.09)
Cassidy Peng (Women's Pole Vault, 3.89m [12' 9"])
Astrid Rosvall (Women's 1500m, Second Place, 4:31.16)
(Women's 800m, Third Place, 2:09.12)