RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The UCSB womens track and field team extended their 2016 hotstreak in Riverside Saturday, claiming dual meet wins against host UC Riverside and Cal Poly. The Gauchos recorded nine event wins against the Mustangs and eleven against the Highlanders to pave the way for team victory. The UCSB men fell in both duals, losing to UCR by one point and Cal Poly by six, both coming down to the final events of the day.
Women's Team Scores
UCSB 102, UCR 68
UCSB 91, Cal Poly 89
Men's Team Scores
UCR 84, UCSB 83
Cal Poly 88, UCSB 82
The Gauchos were once again redhot in the mid-distances, winning both the 800 and 1,500m on the men's and women's side. Seniors Shyan Vaziri and Victoria Tsolis put on a show, running with the pack for the duration of their races before dropping the hammer in strong finishing kicks, bringing the small UCR crowd to their feet on four occasions.
Tsolis sat with the pack in the women's 800m through the first lap then gradually opened her stride through the backstretch. Looking calm with eyes focused on the tape, Tsolis held her pace through the finish, winning in 2:12.38.
Earlier in the day, she deployed the same strategy in the 1,500m. Running just off the lead,Tsolis broke the field with 250m to go. Charging through the final curve, Tsolis held the inside lane, taking the win in 4:30.29.
For Vaziri, the 800m had a similar finish but with an entirely different start. When the starters gun cracked, half of the field sprinted through the curve. The usual jockeying for position off the first curve became more of a "who is going to get to the straight first." Bakari Ziegler and PaulMohr led the way for the Gauchos. Ziegler won the first 100m.
A few ambitious runners went with the Gaucho pair, forging a small lead pack 5-6m ahead of the rest of the field. As the leaders strained to push the pace through the first lap, Vaziri calmly maneuvered out of the chase pack before striking with 300m to go. Showing off his national class closing speed, in the span of 100m Vaziri had moved from 10m back to 10m ahead, now driving the pace toward the checkered flag. He broke the tape in 1:53.57 after another vicious closing lap.
Andrew Farkas, a UCSB senior and conference scorer in the 800 last spring finished third in 1:55.21. Farkas, running in his first race of 2016 inspired his teammates with his effort through the line.
In the 1,500m, Vaziri also used a strong closing kick to break the field. Using teammates Anthony Ortolan, Andrew Verdin and Patrick Bourke, Vaziri navigated the front half of the race with ease before saying farewell to the field with a lap to go. He took the win in 3:55.05.
Ortolan finished in 3:57.24, Bourke in 3:58.08 and Verdin in 3:58.95.
Myles McDonald took the win in the 400m hurdles, lowering his season's best time to 52.95. McDonald ran the final leg for the Gauchos on the 4 x 400m relay, leading the team to victory.
Shamara Carney won the women's 400m in 57.13. Hallie Brauner was second in 58.30.
Tommy Poston placed second in the 3,000m with an 8:29.66 clip. Jackson Bright was fourth in 8:33.17.
Maxine Goyette placed second in the women's 3,000m, finishing in 9:58.06. Goyette ran in space for most of the race but was able to reel in second place with a terrific effort over the final 800m, showing why she is a conference mdealist in the 3,000m steeple.
Erika Foster placed second in the 100m hurdles for the third straight meet, running 14.45 for the Gauchos. Just a freshman, Foster is already putting together quite a resume over the barriers.
In the field, Melissa Rake won the javelin with a throw of 149'0. Rake upped her season best with the win while recording the best early season throw of her career.
Jessica Emde jumped 5'7.25 in the high jump to place second. Taylor Eddleman placed third with a leap of 5'5.25.
Stephen Leach placed third in the men's shot put with a throw of 51'11. Denley Rodriguex threw a personal best 166'7 in the hammer to lead the Gauchos in the event.
Next for the Gauchos will be the Westmont Collegiate Classic before they head to San Diego State for Springbreak.