Santa Barbara, Calif. - The annual dual meet against Cal Poly would end in double team victories for both the men and women of UC Santa Barbara to conclude the regular season for track and field. With a great number of athletes stepping up to the occasion on home soil along with a generous amount of personal bests and new marks on the UCSB All-Time list, the Gauchos will have a nice confidence booster for the conference meet that'll take place less than two weeks away.
"A pair of victories against a conference rival is exactly what we needed heading into championship season," proclaimed Interim Head Track and Field Coach Gray Horn. "One thing that we can appreciate about dual meets is that you can't win them if you're weak in any given area. Today, all of our event groups took care of business and did their part. For that I am proud. We are looking forward to carrying this momentum into the Big West Championships on our home track."
UC Santa Barbara 104
Cal Poly 97
UC Santa Barbara 104
Cal Poly 98
New/Improved UCSB All-Time Marks
A little home field advantage gave the Gauchos an apparent boost on the day as a record six new or improved UCSB All-Time performances were made on the day, more than two times as many marks the Gauchos have put up all season at one meet. Below includes the quick rundown of marks that were added to the list.
Chloe Cox 3000m Steeplechase 10:49.94 No. 10 All-Time
Katie Camarena 1500m 4:24.68 No. 7 All-Time (Improved from No. 9)
Hope Bender 400m 54.68 No. 5 All-Time
Callan Cochran 100m 10.82 (-0.2 m/s) No. 10 All-Time
Brian Schulz 3000m 8:21.23 No. 7 All-Time
Cox and Schulz Join All-Time List for the First Time, Bender No. 5 in 400m, Camarena and Cochran Continue Upward Trend
Redshirt sophomore Chloe Cox has been lowering her times with each passing meet these past few weeks and she continued the trend on Saturday with a 10:49.94 personal best clocking in the steeplechase to start off the track portion of the meet. Running adjacent to Cal Poly's pair of Abigail Fisk and Delaney Fitzsimmons throughout the majority of the race, Cox would take off with just 200m left and would pull away to win by over six seconds. With that win, Cox is now ranked second in the Big West for the steeplechase.
Junior Katie Camarena took on Miranda Daschian again at the Cal Poly dual after they raced each other at the Cal Poly/UC Riverside Tri-Meet all the way back in early March. With Daschian finishing nearly 10 seconds ahead of Camarena in their last encounter, the script would play out much differently this time around as Camarena and Daschian would be neck and neck all the way to the finish, with Camarena just sneaking by in the final strides to win 4:24.68 to 4:24.89. Camarena, like Cox, is now ranked second in the Big West for her respective event in the 1500m.
Senior Hope Bender decided to have a little stroll around the track today for a quick 400m, a race she had yet to contest at as a Gaucho prior to this meet. After winning the 100m hurdles less than half an hour earlier in 13.90, Bender would blitz through the one lap race in a 54.68, good enough for No. 5 on the All-Time list in her first outing at the event. Her time would also rank her third in the conference for the women's 400m.
Junior Callan Cochran ended up lowering his official 100m personal best at the dual to win in a comfortable 10.82 (-0.2 m/s). Slightly besting his 10.83 clocking from last year that tied him with 1982 alumni Harlow Naasz on the All-Time list, there is more expected in the tank for a healthy Cochran considering his 10.51 (+2.6 m/s) all the way back from early February.
A determined Brian Schulz would make a huge impact in the men's 3000m after a subpar two day excursion from last week's Bryan Clay Invitational. With Cal Poly's Jake Ritter setting a hot pace from the start, Schulz would sit just behind him and fellow Mustangs Justin Robison and John Bennett up until the final 400m where he would begin to push for the victory. Schulz would hold the lead up to 100m left as Robison pulled up to Schulz's shoulder on the final turn, Robison ultimately defeating Schulz in the final strides 8:20.51 to 8:21.23. Despite the loss, Schulz would be rewarded for his efforts with a No. 7 All-Time clocking.
Senior Cassidy Peng went through her routine rounds of the jumps to take first in the long jump and second in the pole vault and triple jump respectively. Along with her second farthest long jump as a Gaucho at 5.91m, Peng would step up to the challenge of facing two conference champions in different events by setting new personal bests again in both the triple jump (12.26m) and the pole vault (3.95m), moving her up to fourth in the Big West for the triple jump and a tie for second in the pole vault.
Sophomore Maddie Meade would win the women's 800m in a well overdue personal best clocking of 2:11.95. Sitting just behind Cal Poly's Mikaela Romani until the last 50m, Meade would just barely pass by her on the homestretch to take first place by 0.15 seconds.
Junior Ruby Mandell would set a season's best time of 1:03.25 in the 400m hurdles to take her first win of the season, coincidentally matching her first collegiate win in this event from last year's Cal Poly Dual.
Personal bests galore were on the menu for the women's 3000m as Jasmine Rippey (10:07.82), Andrea Anez (10.12.80), Emma Overell (10:18.25), and Sarah MacGregor (10:18.75) all set new best marks by over 10 seconds.
Senior Alex Huggins would lead a crew of Gauchos to new collegiate bests in the 400m, himself winning the event in 48.54. Sophomore Elijah Hodge would run under 49 seconds for the first time in a Gaucho uniform with a 48.68, a conference qualifying mark, while freshman Anthony Hutton would break 50 seconds for the first time this season in 49.64.
The 800m would have conference leader Bobby Poynter of Cal Poly taking the win in 1:52.87 with freshman Ian Hurlburt and sophomore Alex Barr taking second and third in personal best clockings of 1:53.62 and 1:53.68. In the last race before the conference meet, both ended up finishing just below the conference qualifying mark of 1:54.00.
After finally achieving the conference qualifier last week, senior Chris Aichinger would clear 4.80m in the pole vault to take second in a new season's best, just 0.03m off his personal best. After struggling all season, Aichinger is now tied at fifth in the conference for the men's pole vault.
True freshman Glenn Mbamo would have an incredible mark of 14.61m (+2.2) in the triple jump to win by over half a meter against Cal Poly's Bailey Jones. Though over the allowable legal wind, Mbamo would set a collegiate best under all conditions by over 0.4m.
Lastly, Senior Kordell Hampton would take easy double victories in both the discus and the hammer throw, putting down respective marks 54.05m in the discus and 53.24m in the hammer.
The conclusion of the Cal Poly dual officially marks the end of the regular season for the Gauchos. Post season will begin starting next week as UCSB hosts the first part of the conference meet next Friday and Saturday with the Big West Conference Multi Championships. Check back at UCSBGauchos.com for future coverage and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for additional photos and news.