Men and Women in Second After Day One of Big West Conference Championships

Men and Women in Second After Day One of Big West Conference Championships

Photo Credit: Lloyd Sicard 

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Six events for the men and eight events for the women have been concluded and scored on the first day of the Big West Conference Track and Field Championships hosted at the Pauley Track and Field Facility on the UC Santa Barbara campus. The Gauchos are currently holding second place on both sides with the women barely behind Cal State Fullerton 61.5 to 61, while the men are holding 45 points behind Long Beach State who currently has 64. A good chunk of points are expected to flood in day two as both teams attempt to contend for top team placings on the home track.

Day One Results

Women's Team Scores Day One

1. Cal State Fullerton 61.5

2. UC Santa Barbara 61

3. Cal Poly 55

4. UC Davis 36.5

5. Long Beach State 26

6. UC Irvine 21

7. Hawaii 19

8. UC Riverside 18

9. Cal State Northridge 14

Men's Team Scores Day One

1. Long Beach State 64

2. UC Santa Barbara 45

3. UC Davis 30

4. Cal Poly 27

5. Cal State Fullerton 23

5. Cal State Northridge 23

7. UC Irvine 14

8. UC Riverside 8

First Day Recap

Camarena and Cox 1-2 in the Steeplechase

Juniors Katie Camarena and Chloe Cox were able to pull off one of the biggest wins of the day for the women by going 1-2 in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking times of 10:34.21 and 10:36.29 respectively, ranking fifth and sixth on the UCSB All-Time List for that event. Shadowing the top runners for the first half of the race, Camarena would burst into the lead with just over two and a half laps to go, with Cox right behind her and 2018 conference champion Gabrielle De La Rosa in tow. Heading into the final lap, a slight stumble from De La Rosa after clipping a barrier would give Camarena the perfect time to strike, with Cox following the move just on Camarena's outside. Neck and neck off the final barrier, Camarena would finally pull away from Cox for the victory, making her the second Gaucho ever to win the steeplechase at the conference meet, the first being Bethany Blomquist when she won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007.

Bender Wins Long Jump in Nail Biter, Peng Second in Pole Vault

Senior Hope Bender secured a win in the long jump with the second farthest jump in school history at 6.29m (20' 7.75") (+1.3 m/s). After taking an early lead in the second round at 6.21m (20' 4.5"), Bender seemed set to add another title to her belt as she had been the only one to jump past six meters up until the fourth round. However, Bender would find a familiar foe from the heptathlon in Senior Erin Beattie who'd put up a huge 6.24m (20' 5.75") jump in the final round of the competition. Thankfully, Hope would respond in kind in the final jump of the competition to steal the victory, exploding with joy as the mark was announced over the loudspeakers lining the track. With that jump, Hope becomes just the second Gaucho in school history to win the long jump at the Big West Conference Championships, the first being Jodi Bailey back in 1998.

Randazzo Pulls Off Huge Upset in 10000m

Missing the first half of the season due to a back injury, sophomore Nick Randazzo slowly worked his way back to culminate in a Big West Conference title in the 10000m to edge out 2018 Big West Cross Country Champion Jake Ritter of Cal Poly 30:49.22 to 30:49.87. Clipping off miles just over five minute pace, Randazzo along with junior Yousef Baddour and redshirt freshman Brian Schulz would hide in the main pack as UC Davis senior Jordy Ceja led the peloton with Ritter and a horde of green and white in the likes of Cal Poly's crew in pursuit. As the groups slowly dwindled leading up to the final lap, five men remained in contention at the bell, including Ritter, Ceja, Schulz, Cal Poly freshman John Bennet, and Randazzo. With Ritter starting to pull away with 200m left, Randazzo would swing wide with a huge amount of run left in the tank, going neck and neck with the Cal Poly sophomore all the way to the line, with Randazzo overtaking him in the final strides to win, an emphatic fist pump in celebration included to top things off as he crossed the line with a 59.37 last lap. Schulz would make up ground to finish fourth in 30:54.57, while Baddour would rally back to take sixth in 30:55.12. 

Other Highlights

Senior Cassidy Peng would amass 12 points on day one thanks to a second place finish in the pole vault and a fifth place finish in the long jump. Getting all the way up to 3.89m (12' 9"), Cassidy would end up tying Cal Poly's Sydney Jacques in the vault, but would be awarded second thanks to clearing 3.89m in less attempts than Jacques, putting her on the podium at the conference meet for the first time in her four years here as a Gaucho. Upon immediately finishing the vault, Peng would rush right over to the long jump with no down time to hit 5.88m (19' 3.5") (+2.3 m/s) on her third attempt, just missing out on another podium by only 0.05m.

The Gaucho men would take fourth, sixth, and eighth in the steeplechase with true freshman Jack Landgraf leading the way in 9:17.68. Sophomore Juan Ambriz would shave almost ten seconds off his personal best with a 9:27.92 clocking while sophomore Thomas Wilfert would finish right behind him in eighth with a 9:29.96, also a personal best.

Along with Camarena and Cox, senior Tori Yanco was able to score for the first time at the Big West Conference meet in the women's steeplechase to take eighth in 11:05.28, a personal best by four seconds. 

Sophomore Eric Guerrero was able to set a personal best by over half a meter to finish fifth overall in the shot put with a mark of 16.29m (53' 5.5").

True freshman Gabriela Sanchez would add almost three meters onto her previous personal best in the discus to finish fourth overall to score at her first conference meet. Junior Tori Palma would also add a few centimeters to her personal best by throwing 44.30m to finish seventh.

To finish off the day, sophomore pair Andrea Anez and Jasmine Rippey were able to finish seventh and eighth in the women's 10000m in personal best clockings of 36:49.57 and 36:57.34 respectively.

Qualifiers Through Saturday

Below is a list of qualifiers who made it through the preliminary rounds of their events that will compete in the finals on Saturday. Uppercase indicates automatic qualification while lowercase indicates qualification on time.

Men's 1500m

Jimmy Chahal 3:56.59 Q

Alex Barr 3:56.60 q

Isaiah Lozano 3:58.47q

Bryan Johnson 3:58.54q

Women's 1500m

Astrid Rosvall 4:34.42Q

Katie Camarena 4:34.50Q

Sienna Serrao 4:39.91q

Women's 100m Hurdles

Hope Bender 13.86 (-0.9 m/s) Q

Men's 100m

Callan Cochran 10.62 (+0.9 m/s) (No. 4 UCSB All-Time List Mark)

Women's 800m

Astrid Rosvall 2:11.47Q

Maddie Meade 2:11.92q

Women's 400m Hurdles

Hope Bender 59.49 Q

There will be live updates and photos throughout day two on the team's Twitter, and Instagram accounts.