June 10, 2005

Emmen to Earn All-American Award in 800m

June 9, 2005

Day 2 of the NCAA Championships came to a conclusion for the Gauchos as they walked away from Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, CA with an All-American. Tetlo Emmen (Jr.) of Torrance, CA beat out a couple Americans in today's semi-finals of the 800m to earn his first All-American award.

Both Emmen and Ben Armel (Sr.) qualified for today's semifinals after strong quarterfinal races on Wednesday. Drawing the same heat, Armel and Emmen would have to finish in the top three, grabbing automatic bids to finals or be one of two athletes to advance on time out of both semifinal heats. With the benefit of being in the second heat they knew what they would have to do to qualify based off the first heats' times.

A blazing heat saw two runners dipping under 1:46 and three going under 1:48 with the fifth place time being 1:47.58. The Gauchos would have to either finish in the top three of the second heat or finish 4th or 5th with a faster time than 1:47.58. It would have to be a school record attempt. Unfortunately for the Gauchos the second heat was not as promising as the first with the pack going out a little slower.

Coming through in a low 54 seconds, both Gauchos would have to negative split the second lap to have a chance. Emmen was able to do just that in the quarters, but it is a difficult feat to accomplish in the 800m especially on Day 2. Going around turn three, Armel was beginning to fade after his hard fought quarterfinal race to advance.

Emmen however continued to push down the backstretch with the rest of the field. Coming around the final turn he continued to fight, but was only able to take down one on the homestretch. Emmen would finish in 1:49.43 with the leader coming in at 1:48.02. Armel faded to the back with a disappointing 1:54 finish ending one of the greatest middle distance careers for UCSB.

Overall, Emmen would be the 12th finisher in the semi-finals. Although eight advance to Saturday's final, Emmen's 12th place finish is solidified. With either five or six non-American student-athletes in the field, Emmen will become either the seventh or eighth fastest American in 2005 at the NCAA Championships earning him his first All-American award given to the top eight American finishers in each event. It will be official on Saturday afternoon after the 800m finals.

Out in the field, UCSB and Big West Conference Record Holder in the Hammer Throw, Amy Haapanen (Jr.), competed against the nation's best in that event. Going in ranked 21st, Haapanen was set to go in the third and final flight. In order to advance to finals she would have had to finish in the top twelve out of all three combined flights.

Haapanen was the first competitor in her flight getting off a fair mark on her first of three throws although well under her best. On her second throw she got one out five meters farther landing at the 182-06 foot mark. Still under her seasonal of 194-10 she lied in 21st after the second round. It would take a toss farther than 194-08 on her third and final throw to move on. Unable to do so, Haapanen remained in 21st, the rank in which she entered the Championships.

Today, June 9th will see another day off for the Gaucho 5000m ladies as they prepare for finals. Lauren Christman (Jr.), the new UCSB Record Holder at this event also eclipsed Jennifer Bessel's Big West Conference Record of 16:16.84, which she ran in 1990 for Long Beach State. Christman's time in the semifinals was 16:16.35. Cosette Smith (Sr.) will join her on Saturday as they also attempt to earn All-American status.

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