Santa Barbara, Calif. - Two days of back-to-back track and field action netted some jaw dropping results for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos this weekend at the 40th Annual Aztec Invitational hosted by San Diego State. Once the sun set on the final day and all the results were in, 7 conference leaders were established, 1 new all-time mark was set, and 1 school record was improved upon.
"We had a great two days of competition," said Assistant Coach Darius Terry. "These student athletes had a tough week with finals, but all came out and competed at an extremely high level. There were several personal bests and conference leading marks this weekend and we are looking forward to seeing how our team can improve in these next couple of track meets."
Kordell and the Flying Discus
JR Kordell Hampton, much like he was last year, would be the story of the meet, dropping a massive 186' 9" throw in his final throw of the Friday section to take the win in the men's open discus, beating his own school record that he set at last year's Aztec Invite by over 4 feet. Each subsequent throw he took would get farther and farther, going all the way out to 181' 11" on his 3rd throw, a mere inch off his school record to take the lead in the competition before his 186' 9" throw, holding off the likes of high caliber throwers hailing from UCLA, BYU, Oregon, University of Arizona, and the like.
Kordell's story doesn't end there however. What's even more impressive is that he came back the next day to have two more throws past the 180 foot mark (184' 11" and 180' 9") and one at 179' 11" in the invitational section of the discus, also claiming the victory in that. To put that all into perspective, Kordell threw past his old school record twice, and 5 times past previous school record holder Mike Wilmer's mark of 177' 11". And as of writing this article, his throw of 186' 9" currently stands at 10th in the nation in 2018 for NCAA Division 1. Suffice to say, the San Diego County native knows how to throw when he feels at home.
Other Event by Event Highlights
Sprints, Hurdles, and Jumps
SR Sike-Azu Irondi would blast an incredible new personal best of 21.10 for 2nd place in the men's 200m, lowering his previous personal best of 21.31, which was already 2nd on the all-time list. Sike would also come back the next day to run 10.60 in the 100m, a mere .05 behind his own school record.
JR Shamara Carney would put on a show in the women's 200m and 400m, setting personal bests in both events running 24.85 and 55.39 respectively. Her newly minted 400m best now puts her tied with 2017 alumni Betsy Armitage at No. 7 on the all-time list for the women's 400m.
SR Kiely Gode threw down a huge mark in the women's long jump, springing off the board all the way to 20' 2 ½", a mark currently standing at 12th in the nation for NCAA Division 1. Although 9 inches past the current school record of 19' 5 ½", the wind conditions were just barely past the legal limit at 2.1 m/s, so for record purposes it will not officially count. Regardless, it is by far the longest any female Gaucho has ever jumped under all conditions.
JR Joshua Rennick would take the win in the men's open triple jump in 46' 3 ½" tackling a -2/6 m/s headwind. He would also take 4th in the invitational high jump with a height of 6' 6 ¾".
SR Jenna Hinkle got the win in the women's 1500m with a 4:19.11, employing textbook style even split running right behind the leader, then dropping a 65 second last lap to win by over 2 seconds. Her time of 4:19.11 currently stands at 2nd in the nation for NCAA Division 1. Hinkle would also come back to win the invitational 800m on Saturday to win in 2:08.01, a mere quarter of a second off her personal best.
True freshman Kelly Bishop would absolutely dominate the 3rd heat of the women's 1500m, taking the lead by 600m and never relinquishing it to set a new personal best time of 4:39.30.
SR Patrick Bourke would set a new personal best in the men's 1500m in a time of 3:47.82, methodically moving throughout the pack and pulling away with 100m to go to win by almost 2 seconds. He now stands just .24 seconds off the all-time list for the men's 1500m.
SO Daniel Mountcastle would take the 2nd heat of the men's 1500m in a time of 3:55.89, leading a whole pack of young freshman Gauchos (Alex Barr 3:57.24, Thomas Wilfert 3:58.00, Nick Randazzo 3:58.41) to take 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. Along with true freshman Matt Richardson winning the 3rd heat (4:01.83) and James Douglass winning the 5th heat running unattached (4:00.72), 4 out of 5 heats in the 1500m had a Gaucho take the win.
SO Chris Ruggles would set a new personal best in the shot put, throwing 50' 8". True freshman teammate Gabriel Coronado wouldn't be too far behind in his first competition in uniform with a throw of 47' 11 ¼".
SR Kayla Thayer would set a new personal best in the women's discus in 169' ¼", a good 3' past her previous best. With that mark, she's a mere ¾" off getting onto the all-time list. She would also take the win in the women's open shot put with a mark of 45' 8".
SO Tyler Walker would have a breakout performance in the men's discus. He would set a new personal best in the first day of competition by a good 6' with a throw of 150' 1". The next day however he would come back and absolutely shatter that in the invitational section, releasing the disc to a mark of 162' 6", a whole 12' past the mark he set on Friday.
True freshman Chase Tarr set another personal best in the javelin throw with a mark of 185' 11". This marks the 3rd meet in a row where he's set a personal best in the javelin.
Following a long weekend to relax and recharge, the track and field team will be slated to take on another weekend of high level competition, this time around splitting up between the Stanford Invitational and the UCLA Legends Invite.