March 28, 2009
LOS ANGELES -- A Regional mark and several top-10 marks were achieved by the Gaucho Track and Field team in the opening days of the Stanford Invitational and the Cal/Nevada Championships.
Scott Smith became the first Gaucho to qualify for Regionals, running a 5000m of 14:03.28 at the Stanford Invitational. Smith took second place in Section 2, and his performance places him at third all-time in the 5000m for UCSB.
Waleed Totari also competed at Stanford late at night on Friday, and he too reached the Gaucho all-time list. He ran 29:54.16 in the 10,000m to reach ninth-all time.
The Cal/Nevada Championships got underway this afternoon with qualifying races in the sprints, hurdles and middle distances, and finals in some field events and the long distances.
Jeff Campbell and Ryan Martin were among the athletes who qualified for tomorrow's finals, with the two of them running good times in the 800m. Campbell took third place in Section 3 at 1:53.25, with the top three runners all finishing within two-tenths of a second of each other.
Martin was also involved in a close race, edging out a win in Section 4 with a time of 1:55.49. Martin finished ahead of a runner from UC Davis by two-tenths of a second.
At the distance carnival in the evening, in which all events contested were single-heat finals, June Farley reached the Gaucho all-time list in the 10,000m by running 36:45.99. She finished in third place in the race and is now 10th on the all-time list.
Erik Aardal set a new personal best in the steeplechase by running 9:28.19, good for fourth place. Katie Voigtlander was sixth in the women's steeplechase at 10:53.50, and Ashley Beechan qualified for Conference in her first attempt at the steeple by running 11:15.48. Beechan moves into ninth-all time on the UCSB steeplechase list.
Michael Guerra had the best showing for the Gauchos out in the field, taking seventh in the javelin throw at 189-6 (55.77m). There are still eight field events remaining to be completed tomorrow.
In the sprints, Jason Newland set a new personal best in the 200m with a time of 21.79, which moves him up to sixth all-time at UCSB. For the women, Sheneice Vargas ran a seasonal best of 57.44 in the 400m, which qualifies for Conference.
The hurdlers also notched Conference-qualifying times, with Barbara Nwaba improving her 100m hurdles time to 14.78 and Drew Johnston improving his 110m high hurdles time to 15.23. Nwaba moves up to fifth on the Gaucho hurdles list, and Johnston has now qualified for Conference in both the 400m hurdles and the 110 highs.
Cal/Nevada concludes tomorrow afternoon.
In its ongoing effort to draw awareness to breast cancer and to promote its research, UCSB Athletics is sponsoring Pink Week Mar. 23-29. The softball, women's tennis, and women's water polo teams will feature promotions and other Pink Week activities at several of their games. Pink Week is part of UCSB Athletics' BE Great initiative.
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