March 11, 2006
Hail, rain, cold temperatures, ahh...beautiful Southern California. For many of the Gauchos it was just that, another beautiful SoCal day, as good early season performances broke through the dark skies for a pleasant Saturday. A non-scored meet, the Benny Brown Invitational hosted by Cal St. Fullerton took place at Mt. SAC in Walnut, CA featuring a thousand plus athletes including all collegiate divisions, semi-professionals and professionals alike and even a couple nationally ranked high school athletes.
The throwers got underway first on Friday at Cal St. Fullerton with the Hammer Throw competition. Sophomores Charlene Heaston and Reif Lawson braved the weather and walked out of the ring with new personal bests. Heaston finished seventh overall with a mark of 149-04 improving upon her 7th all-time UCSB standing while Lawson was sixth tossing the hammer 173-07 tying the 9th UCSB all-time throw. Also, competing unattached was Gaucho Heather Quinn who is red-shirting the 2006 season. She finished 2nd overall with a heave of 179-09, just four feet shy of her personal best. She also went onto finish 2nd in the Shot Put on Saturday afternoon with a toss of 43-05.50. Nick Sheurman (So.) also achieved a personal best with a mark of 148-00.
On Saturday, through some hail, rain and wind, Matt Barkley (So.) was just two inches short of his personal best reaching 53-04.25 in the shot put equaling his mark from a week ago and finishing 2nd out of forty-six shot-putters. A flooded discus ring also welcomed the throwers where Lawson, Travis Leonard (So.) and Sheurman competed well with marks of 145-03, 143-06 and 134-01 respectively taking 5th, 6th and 10th. Out on the javelin runway, Kara Mathews (Sr.) threw another personal best 105-01 while Gabe Mann (Sr.) outdistanced the competition with a throw of 200-11 ft. to remain undefeated in 2006.
The Sprints & Jumps
With a distance carnival to highlight the evening, the sprinters and jumpers took the track first Saturday afternoon. Kylie McCuen (Sr.) notched a win in the 200m (24.88) and had the fastest collegiate time of the day in the 400m at 56.71. Elise Geiger was 2nd in the 200m (24.90) and just a second of McCuen in the 400m with a time of 57.82. Junior Leticia Pulido sprinted to the third fastest mark at 100m with a seasonal best time of 12.69.
For the Men, Junior Ryan Donnelly had a big day on the track. A veteran long jumper, Donnelly focused on only the 100m and 200m Saturday as he sprinted to the fastest times of the day in both events. Getting out of the blocks a bit slower than the rest, he used his top end speed and 400m strength to reach the tape first in times of 10.93 and 21.92 tying the 9th fastest UCSB all-time mark in the 100m and notching the 8th best UCSB all-time mark in the 200m. Junior Justin Morgan hit a personal best at 200m with a time of 22.49 and Freshman Kris Shirley ran the 3rd fastest time of the day through some hail and wind in 49.78, a seasonal best.
Stella Hall continued to run strong as she put up another good time in the 400m hurdles with a 63.50 clocking, a seasonal best. Noelle Phares also hit a seasonal best time and Conference Championship qualifying mark in 65.24 at the 400m hurdle distance.
Katie Kramer (Jr.) at the Long Jump and Jane Doolittle in the High Jump also competed well notching wins in their events with marks of 17-02.75 and 5-00 respectively in the winter storm that passed through.
By the start of the evenings' distance events the wind had ceased and the rain had blown through making for ideal conditions racing conditions except for an unusually Southern California bitter cold that worsened with sunset. The 800m event witnessed Junior hurdler again running a tough race at the distance in 2006 as she crossed the line in fifth with a 2:18.86, while Danielle Domenichelli (Fr.) prepared for an 8-15 double with an opening 2:19.55 as she continues her early season strength building. She went on to finish 2nd at 1500m with a 4:43.94 just ahead of long distance specialist Seanna Martin (Sr.) who was 4th in 4:46.55.
Finishing up Saturday's day for the women was Junior Hadas Moser in the 5000m who has come back from a stress fracture that ended her '05 Cross Country season prematurely. Running consistent early lap times of 83 seconds attempting to pace her self to just under 17:20 she fell off pace to 85's just after the halfway point but managed to regain her edge as she ended well with a 7th place finish in a time of 17:33.08, a seasonal best and only six seconds shy of her personal best, a good early season time for the now Gaucho veteran.
On the Men's side metric mile school record holder Scott McConville ran a evenly split 1:54.96 in the 800m as he came through 400m in 57 to take third place in his first of two events. Then his signature event, the 1500m witnessed McConville dart out to the lead from the gun as he set the pace for the field, which included some Gauchos. Running an opening lap of 62 seconds he settled on the next as the pack came through 800m in 2:08.
Maintaining the lead for a third lap it would not be until the bell that he would relinquish his lead as Gaucho J.D. Krawczyk (Jr.) blew past him with a lap to go blazing his last lap in 59 seconds for a seven second personal best 3:55.70 and the win. Krawzcyk a Santiago Canyon J.C. transfer a year and a half ago has blossomed in 2006 for the Gauchos winning his first three races of the year with big personal bests. McConville would come in second with a time of 3:57.27 while Robert Handley (So.) would ensure a Gaucho sweep with a personal best mark of 3:59.88, the second year in a row the Gauchos have swept the 1500m event at the Benny Brown Invitational.
At 5,000m, Chris Ashley (So.) and Micah Tyhurst (Jr.) ran good early season marks as they ran great even paced races. Setting the pace at 70 second laps or approximately 14:35 pace, the Gauchos settled into a rhythm mid-pack of a thirty athlete field. With three laps to go, Ashley would breakaway dropping the pace a little to 67's and 68's moving all the way up to third place and a new personal best time of 14:25.45. Tyhurst would continue to click off 70's as he finished in 9th with a mark of 14:38.33. Further back in the back Freshman Scott Smith, a 800m-1500m specialist for the Gauchos would run his first 5,000m race in a time of 15:09.54 just behind Senior teammate Ben Berkowitz who ran 15:05.92, a personal best.