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RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara men's and women's track & field teams swept past UC Riverside in a pair of dual meets on Saturday afternoon in the Inland Empire. The Gaucho men rolled to a 112-62 victory while the women's squad posted a 95-84 victory.
Sophomore Shyan Vaziri paced the men, posting wins in the 800 and 1,500 meters. He recorded a 1:52.41 in the 800 to edge teammate Jordan Scott (1:53.33) by less than a second. In the 1,500 Vaziri 3:51.43 to edge the Highlanders' Seth Totten, who clocked a 3:53.50. Another Gaucho, Bavik Kanzaria, was third at 3:56.65.
Kanzaria ran a 8:35.33 in the 3,000 meters to finish second to UCR's Totten who recorded an 8:33.32.
UCSB also experience success in the sprints with juniors Evan Walker, Nate Harvey and Jacob Vowels placing 1-2-3 in the 100 meters. Walker ran a 10.83 to narrowly defeat his teammate Harvey who ran 10.95.
The Gauchos also swept the top-three places in the 400 meters. Marquis Caldwell won the event in 48.15 with Eric Severiano and Winton Nguyen finishing second and third in 49.02 and 49.10 respectively.
Mikael Powers also contributed two wins for UCSB. He claimed the top-spot in both the 110 meter hurdles (14.81) and the 400 meter hurdles (53.36). Sean Johnson was second in the 110 meter hurdles at 14.90.
Santa Barbara dominated the field events. Mitchell Haag won the high jump at 6'11". John Walsh took the long jump at 21'10.25". Walsh narrowly topped teammate Oscar Pearson who leapt 21'8.75". Pearson won the triple jump with a mark of 45'8.5".
The women's meet was much closer, but UCSB athletes had some shining moments.
Grace Esslinger claimed the victory in the 200 meters - giving the Gauchos their only win in the sprints – in a time of 24.78. Courtney Lightfoot led a contingent of Santa Barbara runners who finished 2-3-4 in the 800 meters. Lightfoot was second at 2:16.99.
Another individual win for UCSB came in the 400 meter hurdles where Amanda Rodriguez ran a 1:02.57.
The foursome of Esslinger, Rodriguez, Jennifer Carey and Kelsey Bolden ran a 46.88 to give the Gauchos the win in the 4x100 meter relay.
In the high jump, it was freshman Tori Usgaard coming through for Santa Barbara with a leap of 5'5". Usgaard's freshman teammate, Jessica Emde, was second at 5'3"
Senior Veronica Gines narrowly missed giving UCSB a win in the long jump. Gines' mark of 18'3.25" was just a half inch off the winning mark of 18'3.75" by Riverside's Jacquelyn DuBois.
In the throwing events, Irene Kujore gave the Gauchos victories in the shot put (48'9.5") and hammer throw (167'6"). Gines was second in the hammer with a mark of 154'11". Kathleen Guzman led a 1-2-3-4 finish in the discus with a throw of 145'8". Kujore was a narrow second at 145'6"
UCSB's Jennifer Melton and Melissa Rake finished 1-2 in the javelin. Melton's winning toss measured 128'10"
The Gauchos return to action next weekend. On Thursday, Mar. 14 and Friday, Mar. 15, the multi-event athletes will take part in the Northridge Invitational Multis at Cal State Northridge. On Saturday, Mar. 16, UCSB travels to San Luis Obispo to compete in the Cal Poly Invitational.