LOS ANGELES COUNTY, Calif. - The Gauchos were split this week at 3 different high caliber meets in Southern California and took full advantage of the talented fields with competitors from all across the nation.
Competition started Thursday with most of the team at Long Beach State's brand new Jack Rose track facility.
On the men's side, highlights included SO Jeremy Franklin with a Hammer throw of 194'0", improving his personal best by 17 ft and moving him into UCSB #7 All-Time. SO Parker Curry made it over the 16' bar in the Pole Vault for the second time this season. FR Joshua Rennick placed third in both the High Jump and Triple Jump.
For the women, SO Kiely Gode lept to a new Long Jump best of 19'0". JR Betsy Armitage sped to a new 200m best of 25.05. FR Alivia Schleuter won the Triple Jump with a leap of 38'2.75". SO Kayla O'Brine recorded a new Hammer best of 175'9", good for #5 UCSB All-Time.
And in one of the biggest performances of the weekend, FR Sierra Emrick became the second Gaucho in history to clear a bar over 13 feet, as she Pole Vaulted to a new best of 13'0.25". This height ranks her #3 in the Big West so far this year.
Most of the distance squad competed over the two days at Azusa Pacific University, chasing regional marks and PR's from 800m up to 5000m.
The 1500m was the premier event of this meet, and the Gauchos ran very impressive times under the lights at Cougar Stadium. JR George Baier won his heat with a 3 second personal best of 3:45.56. This ranks him #2 in Big West competition and #4 UCSB All-Time. SR Tommy Poston was not far behind, placing third in 3:46.99, also good for #7 All-Time for the Gauchos. SR Brad Litooy rounded out 3 men under 3:50 at this meet, with a 3:49.83 in the next heat.
On the women's side, SO Jenna Hinkle executed a great race, lowering her personal best to 4:25.31, a 4 second improvement. This mark ranks her #3 in the Big West and #6 UCSB All-Time. FR Sabrina Janes also ran a smart race that resulted in a new collegiate best of 4:39.82.
The historic Mt. Sac Invite was held this year from Thursday to Saturday at Cerritos College, as the Mt. Sac track is undergoing renovations. Elite collegiate distance runners and professionals met to run fast on the blue Mondo track in Falcon Field.
Thursday night at 10:45 PM featured SO Jackson Bright and FR Carlos Guijarro in the 10,000m run. Both men approached the 25 lap race with focus and mental fortitude as they set new bests of 30:25.30 and 30:56.82.
Friday night featured the elite 1500m races, the marquee event of the meet. Both of our star milers, SR Tori Tsolis and SR Shyan Vaziri, were placed in the fastest heats of the day.
Shyan Vaziri took on a field that featured David Torrence, a 3:52.01 professional miler, along with some of the top collegiates in the nation. The senior proved that he deserved to be with the best, notching a season best of 3:42.50, placing 4th overall and only 2 seconds from Torrence, the race winner.
Tori Tsolis ran in an equally impressive field that featured Nicole Sifuentes, a Canadian professional that has notched a 4:04.65 mark in the event. Tsolis clicked off laps of 68,71,71 mid-pack and finished the last 300m hard in just 48 seconds. This huge effort rewarded her with a personal best by a full 2 seconds, becoming the first Gaucho in school history to break the 4:20 barrier. Her 4:19.02 mark breaks an 11 year old school record set in 2005 by Lauren Christman. Both of these perfromances bode both seniors well for the upcoming championship portion of the season.
UCSB Track and Field will send a select few to the Triton Invitational next weekend at UC San Diego. The team will be in full force the next week at the Annual Cal Poly Dual Meet. Stay tuned to UCSBGauchos.com and follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates and results.