Feb. 19, 2005
In the Gauchos' only home meet of the year, the women and men worked out the early season kinks and came together as a team for the first time. After a rainy start to the opening track & field meet of 2005, the skies over Santa Barbara and Pauley Track cleared away in time to dry out the track and bring fans to the stands to witness team victories by both the women and the men.
Director of Track & Field, Pete Dolan firmly stated that, "a meet is on until it is off". The Gaucho Coaches and Athletes made sure that the meet would stay on by maintaining the facilities early in the morning. Only the long and triple jump fell prey to the weather. This pre-season tri-meet between UCSB, Claremont Mudd Scripps and Westmont was one of the only southern California meets to combat Mother Nature.
The Gaucho Men won the team scoring by putting up 158 points to Claremont Mudd Scripp's 101 points and Westmont's 54 points. Although qualifying marks can only be set for the Big West Championships or any NCAA Div. I Championship beginning in March, the Gaucho Men caught a glimpse of the future by having eight athletes set qualifying marks good enough for Big West, with two of them setting marks that will be good enough to qualify for the Regional Championships as well.
Most of these marks came from the Gaucho throwing squad, where in the Hammer Throw, Eugene Bradley started off the day by shunning the weather and tossing the hammer 195'02.50", setting a personal best by about 12 feet from 2004 and moving him up to number three on the Gaucho All-Time Top Ten list with a mark that would have qualified him for the West Regional Championships.
In the exciting Shot Put competition for both the men and women, Ryan Lockner, heaved the shot 54'02.25" just missing his personal best, and setting a mark that also would have qualified him for Regionals. Bradley finished close behind him by throwing 53'04.75 and Freshman Matt Barkley going for 52'00.00" in his debut grabbing third.
In the other field events, Gabe Mann debuted as a Gaucho Track & Field athlete after competing for the Gaucho Baseball squad. Now a Javelin thrower, he finished in second, throwing 184'00.50" which would have been good enough to qualify for the Big West Championships. Kent Centers, a Regional qualifier in 2003 for the Gauchos, won the High Jump with a mark of 6'07.75 followed by Freshman Jacob Maus jumping 6'05.50" for second. Over at the Pole Vault, Sean Thomas-Bignami won with a vault of 14'11.00" and then went for three almost successful attempts at 16'0".
On the track, the Gaucho distance squad took the first four spots in the 1500m with a familiar one-two finish by Ben Armel and Tetlo Emmen after doing so at last years Big West Championships and West Regional Championships. Justin Coburn and Alex Cardiasmenos were third and fourth. In the 800m, Tetlo Emmen coming back from the 1500m won in 1:55.47 with Freshman Robert Handley racing well taking second place right behind Emmen in 1:55.54 just .05 off of a personal best. At 3000m, the Gauchos took the top six spots with Alex Cardiasmenos winning in 8:39.41 followed by Art Avitia (8:41.69) and Micah Tyhurst (8:44.61).
The sprinting events were led by Freshman Max Bellissimo who helped the Gauchos win both the 4x100m and 4x400m relays with Bellissimo also cleaning up in the 100m (11.17) and 200m (22.12). The Gauchos swept the top three spots in the 200m with Justin Morgan and Kai Glover taking second and third respectively. Other notable performances came from Gustav Lindstrom who comes to UCSB from Lund, Sweden. Lindstrom competed strongly in the 400m taking second (49.93) and had a great leg in the 4x400m to help the Gauchos to a victory.