Feb. 19, 2011
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Gaucho men and women opened up the season with their first outdoor meet to commence the fourth annual Gaucho Round-Up. This quad-meet between UCSB, Pepperdine, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Westmont has typically been held at the UCSB Pauley Track but was moved to Westmont College due to track surfacing issues.
With a forecast of showers and highs in the mid 50s, spectators and athletes alike huddled under umbrellas and canopies in an attempt to stay dry from the intermittent showers including a brief 30 minute suspension due to thunder. Despite the weather and the cancellation of a few events, the Gauchos came out on top with a whopping combined team score of 403.50 and Westmont coming in second with 235 points. There were several standout performances from the men's side with Junior Rusty Parker bringing home a double win in the 800m and 1500m with times of 1:55.72 and 4:00.34 respectively. Mike Powers set a new personal best in the 110m hurdles clocking in at 14.99 with the push from teammates Sean Johnson and Josh Codding to finish top three. Johnson, a freshman has adjusted well to the new collegiate height for men's 110m high hurdles and transfer Marquis Caldwell made an easy transition with a 400m time of 49.26. Powers notched another win in the long jump with a leap of 21'6.75". Freshman Karlon Johnson won the men's triple jump in his first collegiate performance with an impressive mark of 45'7.25".
"This meet got the season started and it was exciting to see some athletes wear the UCSB uniform for the first time. Mike Powers started where he left off last season and Rusty Parker had a great day with his double win" said UCSB head coach Pete Dolan.
On the women's side, Snita Ashford won the 100m dash in 12.40 while fifth year senior Amanda Moreno dominated the 3000m in 9:47.48 by almost thirty seconds. The Gaucho women swept the top three in the 100m hurdles with Grace Esslinger winning the event by running 15.02 and teammates Jessica Bragg clocking 15.56 and Cherise Dixon coming in close behind. In the women's 1500m, the Gauchos placed in the top-four with Junior Callie Mulgannon coming in first with a time of 4:44.24 and fellow teammates Andrea Jacobs, Cassie Brooker and Sarah Vitug coming in close behind.
Over in the field events, Jean Lightfoot won the hammer throw and teammate Alex Francis coming in second with marks of 169'10" and 161'11" respectively. Lightfoot also won the discus throw with a mark of 152'11" and freshman Kathleen Guzman taking second with a throw of 130'5". Junior Tayler Williams claimed first in the triple jump and beating her competitor by more than three feet for a leap of 37'7.35".
Senior Barbara Nwaba has decided to redshirt her outdoor season this year but will finish up her indoor competition at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 11-12 in College Station, Texas.
Next up for the Gauchos is the Ben Brown Invitation on March 4-5 in Fullerton, Calif.