Fayetteville, Ark- Eight UCSB Gauchos competed in the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Competition last weekend held at the University of Arkansas' John McDonnell Field. In individual events the top-48 in the West region qualified for the NCAA Preliminary Round vying for a top-12 showing and a trip to Eugene into the NCAA Final Championship.
Evan Walker started the meet for the Gauchos running in the prelims of the 100m. Walker clocked 10.85, finishing seventh in heat 6. Walker finishes his career as the second ranked Gaucho all-time in the 100m.
In the men's 1500m Shyan Vaziri ran 3:44.85 in the prelims, the third fastest time of his career but it wasn't enough to advance into the final. Vaziri placed seventh in his heat and needed a 3:43.95 to advance into the final heat. Vaziri placed 26th overall.
Tori Tsolis made her first NCAA appearance, running the 1500m. She closed strong yet again and finished with a time of 4:29.62, the third fastest time of her career. Tsolis placed 41st overall and took 10th in heat 2.
In the 3000m steeplechase Bryce Rausa ran 9:36.02 and placed 47th.
In the men's hammer, Albert Hughes nearly made it into the final round of throwing after unleashing a throw of 197'3 on his second effort and held the lead after the first flight of throwing. Hughes missed qualifying for the final by 3cm. Hughes placed 17th overall, bettering his pre-meet ranking of 33 by 16 places.
Jessica Johnson also made her first NCAA appearance running in the women's 400m. Running out of lane 7, Johnson worked to make up the stagger on the final turn and came through the line at 54.75, taking sixth in heat three. This was the fifth time Johnson dipped under 55 seconds this spring. She will go into her senior year next fall as the third fastest 400m runner in UCSB history.
In the women's javelin, Melissa Rake launched her spear 134'2 to place 40th overall. The sophomore from San Dimas set the UCSB school record two weeks ago at UC Davis and made her first NCAA appearance.
In the women's high jump, Jessica Emde calmed down after two misses at her opening bar, clearing it clean on her third effort. She went on to clear the next bar of 5'7.75 on her first attempt before bowing out at the next bar. Her two misses prevented her from jumping off for the final two places into the NCAA Final as the height she cleared with no misses would have done the trick. This is the third best height Emde has cleared in her career. She finished 20th overall, bettering her pre-meet ranking of 30 by 10 places.