Armel repeats as 800m Cal-Nev Champion
April 24, 2005
The Gauchos competed in Fresno, CA this weekend at the Cal-Nev. Championships. Cal-Nevada's have in the past been a great west-coast competition but in recent years have lost some of its depth with many teams staying at home or leaving some athletes at home in preparation for championship meets in May.
UCSB resting many as well brought only a half roster. Nonetheless, those competing represented well with two NCAA Regional qualifying marks set and one new Big West qualifying mark. In the team scoring competition the Northridge men took home the team title for 2005.
The first regional mark came from Jr. Gabe Mann in the Men's Javelin. The Big West Conference leader in the event came into this meet ranked 3rd. Making the finals after Friday's trials, he strut onto the runway on Saturday launching a three-foot personal best on his first throw going 202 feet; the first UCSB thrower over 200 feet since 2001. He then settled into some 180 and 190 foot throws before unleashing a 206-07 foot bomb on his 6th and final throw to finish 2nd in the meet. He is the Big West leader by ten feet as of early last week and has qualified for the NCAA Regionals in his first season as a javelin thrower for UCSB. His mark ranks 5th all time at UCSB.
In the Men's 800m the Gauchos qualified three from Friday into Saturday's final. Ben Armel (Sr.), defending Cal-Nev. Champion, qualified with the third fastest time going into the final. Joining him in the finals was Scott McConville (Jr.) who ran a personal best 1:54.2 to get there and Justin Coburn (Jr.).
In the finals, Fresno State's Sean Marzoff in front of a home crowd took off gaining a 10m lead on the field by the 200m mark and racing through the 400m mark in 52 seconds with Armel and the rest of the pack in close pursuit. Going around turn three Armel took off after Marzoff catching him before the backstretch. Coming by the 600m mark in 1:20, Armel had already built a 20m lead. Cruising the homestretch, Armel won his second title in a row with a NCAA regional qualifying mark of 1:49.92, a seasonal best. Pulling up for second, a small surprise was Scott McConville, racing another personal best 1:52.56, just edging out Cal Poly's Matt Johnsrud by .02 seconds.
The men's 1500m saw five Gauchos in the finals on Saturday. Micah Tyhurst (So.) coming off of a great 5000m race a week ago at Mt. Sac entered his first 1500m of the season and almost pulled up for the win. Going out modestly through 800m at 2:07, the pack was still in tact when Scott Brandos (Jr.) got out in front picking up the pace a bit to string things out. With a lap to go a group of six runners was still in tact. Nick Arciniaga of Fullerton built a small lead with 200m to go, however Tyhurst was coming on strong and pulled up next to him on the homestretch for a great a battle to the line.
Going back and forth the last 100m, Tyhurst fell just short of the win, but nonetheless qualified for the Big West Championships and got a nine second personal best at this distance racing to a 3:54.18. Cardiasmenos (Sr.) grabbed 3rd place in a personal best 3:55.39 with Tim Aukshunas (Fr.) getting 7th also in personal best at 3:58.59.
Out in the infield Freshman Jacob Maus leaped to 4th place in the High Jump going 6'06.75. Maus has been very consistent this year around 6'07" and is currently ranked 8th in the Big West with three weeks to go.
The Gauchos travel to San Luis Obispo this coming Saturday with a five way meet versus Cal Poly SLO, Fresno St., Northridge and Sacramento St. On Sunday night, May 1st a few select distance athletes will be competing at the Cardinal Invitational in Palo Alto, CA attempting to increase their odds at a NCAA Championship bid.