March 19, 2005
A strong team effort by the Gauchos left them just off of a team title for the second time this season in a fantastic team battle between four teams on the first weekend of Gaucho spring break 2005. Using a World Cup scoring system in which only one athlete per team, per event scores, UCSB finished in 2nd by just 7.5 points to Cornell University, 173-165.5. The Gauchos however, did come out on top of Big West rivals Long Beach State who tied Weber State with 161 points for third.
The Gaucho throwers continued to compete well with Eugene Bradley setting the pace in the Hammer Throw by tossing the hammer 199'0", finishing at the top of the competition and setting a personal best by four feet, well over the NCAA Regional qualifying mark of 182'06". In the discus, Travis Leonard out of Illinois, set a personal best in four out of his six throws finishing the day off with a mark of 152'6", taking fourth against a tough Long Beach State squad. In the Shot Put, Senior Ryan Lockner finished 3rd with a toss of 53'11" just three inches shy of his personal best.
Starting the day off on the track, Micah Tyhurst finished 3rd in the 3000m Steeplechase with a personal best 9:32.47, qualifying him for the Big West Championships in May. Staying with the distances, Tetlo Emmen grabbed another win for his belt in the 800m, running 1:51.94, just .02 seconds ahead of a Cornell athlete.
At 1500m, Alex Cardiasmenos and Art Avitia both set personal best with times of 3:56.59 and 3:57.94 finishing 3rd and 6th respectively. In the 5000m, Mike Chavez backed up an early season mark by running 14:48.43 for second, while teammate Loren Bland just snuck under the 15 minute mark, racing to a 14:59.87, a personal best for him.
Speeding things up a bit, Max Bellissimo, a freshman out of Canyon Country H.S. sprinted to a Big West qualifying mark in the 200m with a mark of 21.96, finishing in 3rd and tying Kgosi Chuenyana for 9th on the Gaucho All-Time list. At 400m, he also grabbed another 3rd place finish with a seasonal best time of 48.75.
Out on the field, Sean Thomas-Bignami in the Pole Vault cleared 16'01" for the third time of the season, just missing the regional qualifying mark 16'04.75". Senior Preston Biller leaped to a seasonal best in the Long Jump with a mark of 23'01, winning the Collegiate Classic by .04m. Kent Centers, continued his consistency in the High Jump by jumping to 2nd place, clearing 2.00m. Kent was a NCAA regional qualifier in the 2003 in this event.
The Gaucho men will continue their Spring Break in sunny Santa Barbara before preparing for their first major national meet of the season in Palo Alto, CA - the Stanford Invitational taking place Friday and Saturday, March 25th and 26th.