March 5, 2005
The Gaucho men came up just shy of an All-Cal Challenge Cup win over University of California rivals Davis, Irvine, Riverside and San Diego. The Irvine Anteaters snagged the win with 259 points, with the Gauchos close behind with 235 points. Davis (189), San Diego (177) and Riverside (99.5) finished third, fourth and fifth respectively. Nonetheless, the Men took care of some business by grabbing one regional qualifier and twenty-one Big West Championship qualifying marks.
Eugene Bradley, after having a fantastic Hammer competition at the home opener, started the day off for the Gauchos with another win and a Regional qualifying toss of 192'8". Also in the Hammer Throw, Jeff Stewart, Reif Lawson and Matt Mettler also qualified for Big West. Moving over to the Shot Put ring, Freshman, Matt Barkley just missed the win by .01m with a toss of 16.30m (53'5.75") moving him one more spot up on the Gaucho All-Time list to 8th. He qualified for Big West as did the next three places in the competition all of which were Gauchos: Ryan Lockner (15.84m), Eugene Bradley (15.70m) and Jeff Stewart (15.23m) in that order. Other Big West qualifiers from the throwers included Travis Leonard in the Discus and Gabe Mann in the Javelin.
The field also saw great competitions from Senior Preston Biller who won the Long Jump competition with a jump of 22'4.25". In the Pole Vault Sean Thomas-Bignami, vaulted 16'0.75 to win and qualify for conference becoming the 7th highest jumper on the Gaucho All-Time list. Closing the day off in the field, the high jump saw Kent Centers (So.) and Jacob Maus perform great with all teams focusing their attention on them. The two were part of a five man group who cleared 6'8.75" but all missed 6'10.75". Maus, by the amount of faults in the competition tied for second with Centers grabbing fourth. Both had excellent attempts at the final height.
On the track, the Gauchos started off the day much like the ladies did with a win in the 3000m steeplechase by Scott Brandos. His first steeple for UCSB since 2003, a season in which he qualified for the Regional Championships and won the Cal-Nevada championships, Brandos ran a controlled 9:31.20; a Big West qualifier. In one of the most exciting races on the track today, Scott McConville grabbed a conference qualifier after a slow start in the 1500m. He was just edged out for the win after racing a 56 second last lap finishing with a 3:54.56.
Freshman sprinter, Max Bellissimo sprinted into the #10 All-Time 200m list when he raced to a win with a time of 22.01 qualifying for Big West. In the 800m, West Regional Champion Tetlo Emmen kept to his winning ways by cruising to 1:54.69 for first.
The 5000m was a barn burner of a race after Jeff Gardina and Mike Chavez clicked off 70 second laps through two miles pulling along Gaucho Alex Cardiasmenos and one Irvine anteater. On the 11th lap, Cardiasmenos jumped to the lead and put down a 66. Coming up a bit short at the finish, Cardiasmenos still raced to a 30 second personal best with a time of 14:41.76 with teammate Mike Chavez clicking off 20 seconds off his lifetime best, running 14:43.13. The Gauchos claimed five total big west qualifiers in this event, with Jeff Gardina (14:51.54), Tim Aukshunas (15:03.78) and Loren Bland (15:04.34) all running under the standard.
The Gauchos will next travel to Fullerton for the Ben Brown Invitational on March 12th. The next team scoring meet will come a week later at the Long Beach Classic with teams competing from both coasts of the United States.