Men Finish Strong At Big West Challenge Cup

April 9, 2011

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IRVINE, Calif. -- The women's team combined a total of 213.50 points to reclaim the Big West Challenge Cup held at UC Irvine's Anteater Stadium on Friday. The men's team finished second with a cumulative score of 199.50 behind Long Beach State's total score of 223.50. Despite a forecast of showers, the rain managed to hold off until the 4x400m relay races at the end of the meet.

Jean Lightfoot had two big double wins in the hammer throw and discus. Her hammer mark was 163'4" and her discus throw reached 156'0". Lightfoot also competed in the shot put and threw 44'9.5" for second place. Adam Shigem earned third in the hammer throw for the men and Josh Scherer threw 169'5" for fifth and a new personal best. Alex Francis threw 158'11" in the hammer throw for the women and placing third overall and threw 38'10.25" in the shot put.

Derek Masterson had a great meet with two personal best marks in the javelin (200'7") earning first place and 110m hurdles (16.08). Masterson also earned crucial team points for the men with his second place finishes in the long jump (22'2.5") and pole vault (16'.075"). Josh Codding threw 113'4" for the men in the javelin while Jenn Melton threw 111'9" and Alex Francis threw 108'3" for the women. Taylor Duncan cleared 15'1" in the men's pole vault and John Walsh jumped 21'7.25" in the men's long jump. On the women's side, Maureen Ajoku jumped 18'1.5" for second place and Veronica Gines jumped 17'6.25". In the men's triple jump, Karlon Johnson jumped 45'4.25" while Arthur Dyson III jumped 43'11.25". Symone Evans earned second place in the women's triple jump with her best mark measuring 36'10.25" and Ajoku jumping 35'7.75".

In the shot put, Chad Seymour threw 47'9.25" while Julian Samson threw 47'1.5" to earn a combined nine points for the men. Seymour also threw 149'8" in the discus along with Scherer's throw of 144'0" and five points. Mitchell Haag earned second place in the high jump and clearing 6'6.75". Max Villalba cleared the same height and Mike Larocca cleared 6'4.75". Helena Montin and Ajoku both cleared 5'3 in the high jump and earning points for the women's side.

The track events got off to a start with the men's and women's 3,000m steeplechase race in the evening. Andrea Jacobs had a phenomenal win in the women's steeplechase with a time of 10:44.65 and a new personal best. "I felt really confident in what I was doing and just went out there and did it," comments Jacobs on her performance. "The first five laps were fine but it started getting harder in the final two. I hope to keep working hard and fine tune each performance and make the last two laps more consistent." Ari Selix kept fighting till the end and finished in 11:03.67 for third place. In the men's steeplechase, Anthony Masci finished strong in a time of 9:19.96 for second place and a new personal best time and Andrew Salinas finished in 9:48.21. The women's 4x100m relay team of Snita Ashford, Kelsey Bolden, Lauren Kodama and Jessica Johnson finished first in a time of 47.24.

Amanda Moreno had another outstanding performance in the 1500m by running 4:27.90 to win the event and breaking the meet record set by Samantha Costantini of UC Irvine in 2008. Callie Mulgannon ran 4:35.89 for a new personal best and followed by Sarah Vitugwho finished in 4:37.33. Juan Paredes also set a new personal best in the 1500m by running 3:48.68 while the freshman Greg Dotson II finished strong in 3:50.39. In the 3,000m Bhavik Kanzaria ran 8:31.8 for fourth and Michael Wysocki ran 8:43.75. The women's side in the 3k turned out to be a huge win for the women's side with Breanne Strenkowski winning the event in 9:56.90, Christine Cooperstein coming in second in 10.01.37 and Danielle Moreno finishing third in 10:07.81.

Sean Johnson ran 14.89 in the men's 110m hurdles for third place along with Masterson and Josh Codding who finished in 16.11. Symone Evans ran 15.25 and Cherise Dixon ran 15.47 for the women's 100m hurdles. Jordan Scott had a strong finish in the men's 400m with a time of 48.57 and closely behind current 400m leader Charles Jock of UC Irvine. Winton Nguyen finished in 49.90 and good for fifth place. Jessica Johnson had a huge win for the women in the 400m with a time of 56.08 and Cherelle McMillon finished in 58.14.

Beidi Beer ran 10.95 in the men's 100m dash to notch another win for the men's side and Jacob Vowels ran 11.00 for third place. Kelsey Bolden placed second in the women's 100m dash in 12.19 and Snita Ashford came in third with a time of 12.21.

In the men's 800m run, Ryan Martin and Rusty Parker pushed each other hard to finish first and second in 1:50.83 and 1:51.29 respectively. Justine Diaz who won the 800m event at last year's Big West Cup reclaimed her spot by winning the event again in 2:09.7 and eight hundredths of a second off from the meet record set by UCSB alum Sabrina Caplis in 1999. Cassie Brooker finished the race in 2:14.87 and placing fourth.

André Piñon placed second in the 400m hurdles with a time of 53.01 and Alvin Go finished in 54.16. Aislynn Mueller ran 63.15 for second place while Emily Gordon ran 63.26 followed by Amanda Rodriguez in 63.84

Jacob Vowels ran 22.18 in the men's 200m dash and Beidi Beer finished fourth in 22.42. For the women, Lauren Kodama ran 25.58 and Ashford ran 25.70.

The 4x400m relay was the last event of the night and with it brought a strong torrent of rain and hail. A huge crowd of Gauchos crowded the last bend before the finish line and cheered on their fellow teammates amidst the rain. With a UCSB flag waving proudly amongst the sea of athletes clad in Gaucho blue, the women's team of Cherelle McMillon, Camille Petty, Amanda Rodriguez, and Jessica Johnson mustered a winning time of 3:50.32 while the men's team of André Piñon, Alvin Go, Jordan Scott and Jimmy Martin fought hard until the end to finish second in 3:15.16 and less than a second behind UC Irvine.

Overall, the Gauchos gave a tremendous effort at the Big West Challenge Cup with several personal bests and top marks. The UCSB track and field team has a busy week ahead, with some athletes heading to the Azusa Multi's and Mt. SAC meets on April 13-14 and others competing in the Bryan Clay Invitational on the 15th.

Tune in to UCSB Athletics' weekly radio show Talk'n Gauchos, which airs every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. on AM 1290 KZSB. The show is broadcast live from the Beachside Bar & Café on Goleta Beach. Fans are encouraged to attend the show for free gear and ticket giveaways and can even e-mail a question in to one of the guests and have it read live over the air. The show also airs live online via audio streaming and fans can click here to check out the entire lineup of live audio streaming online.

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