Last Chance Qualifiers for Gauchos at OXY and Northridge

May 8, 2005

Over the last two weekends the Gaucho Track & Field team has split to five different locations in preparation for the Big West Championships just a few days away. Achieving set goals they have yet again put themselves in position to compete well during the championship week that lies ahead next.

At Occidental College for the Oxy Invitational, the middle distance 800m athletes were tuning themselves up in the 400m races while the 1500m and 5000m runners were attempting to get last minute conference qualifiers.

Ben Armel (Sr.) and Tetlo Emmen (Jr.) entered the 400m a week after some fantastic 800m racing at the Cardinal Invitaitonal in Palo Alto, CA on May 1st. Armel posted a seasonal best time of 1:48.50 to finish second just ahead of Hiroshi Sasano of Japan and behind Achraf Tadili racing for Nike. At the time his mark was the 3rd fastest mark in the West Region. Emmen, the 2004 West Region Champion continued his great season with a 1:49.06 just off his personal best by four tenths of a second at Cardinal.

At Oxy the goal was to post some fast 400m times waking up the key fast twitch muscles that will be needed during the championship racing season. Emmen ran the faster of the two covering the one lap race in 48.40. Armel finished just a tenth behind in 48.51. Going into the Big West Championships the two are ranked 1-2 in the 800m and ranked 5th and 8th in the close West Region 800m list. They will also be part of the 4x400m relay team at Big West.

At 5000m for the women, Christie Farson (So.) racing the distance for the first time grabbed a Conference qualifying mark of 18:10.32. For the men at 5000m, Jason Boyce (Sr.) came up just short of the qualifying mark running 15:08.09, a personal best for Boyce in his last season for the Gauchos. In the women's 1500m, Michelle Beritzhoff (So.) just missed the qualifying mark of 4:43 but nonetheless picked up a personal best 4:45.16 to finish off her 2005 season.

At the Northridge Open the sprinters and throwers also took a limited squad for tuning up purposes and last chance qualifiers. Beginning with the throws, Scott Anderson (Fr.) unleashed a bomb on his third throw in the men's shot put of 55-11.25 feet. A personal best, NCAA Regional qualifying mark and the Gauchos 2nd farthest throw all-time, Anderson thrust himself into position for a top three finish at the Big West Championships in what will be a highly competitive event.

For the women, Jamie Schwarzbach (Fr.), also in the shot put threw a personal best of 42-08 feet, the 6th best mark all-time for the Gauchos. Also in the field Jessica Horn (So.) and Heidi Nyberg (So.) both cleared 11 feet, six inches in the pole vault tying for second place. For Horn that was a half-foot personal best. Nyberg had good attempts at 12 feet but just kept nicking the bar.

Out on the track, Elise Geiger (Jr.) who has been out due to injury since late March competed for the first time since spraining her ankle last weekend at the Cal Poly 5-Way meet in San Luis Obispo. Yesterday in Northridge she continued her comeback with a win, racing to a mark of 12.61. Her seasonal best is 12.23. She is ranked in the top 10 in both the 100m and 200m in the Big West.

Kerry Gamble (Fr.) won the 400m in a time of 57.61. Coming back from sickness earlier in the winter she has posted a seasonal best time of 56.57 a week ago in San Luis Obispo. As a high school senior she ran a 55.02. In the 4000m Hurdles, Stellamarie Hall (So.) won with a personal best of 63.28. The Gauchos swept the first five spots. Also in that race, Diana Joyner (So.) grabbed a personal best and conference qualifying mark of 65.43 finishing fourth.

On the men's side, Max Bellissimo (Fr.) tied his personal best in the 400m to finish 2nd. In the 400m Hurdles, Nino Kolyothaong (So.) finished first in a time of 56.66 ahead of teammate Anteo Quiroz (Fr.) who ran a personal best 57.41.

The Big West Championships begin on Wednesday, May 11th at UC Irvine with the heptathlon and decathlon competitions at 11am. Danielle DeBeaubien will be representing UCSB in the multi's on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday, May 13th is day 3 of the championships signaling the start of all track & field events with a 12:00pm start for the Women's Hammer Throw. The two-day meet will be trials and finals for most events with finals being held on Saturday beginning at 10:00am with the Men's Hammer Throw.

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