May 13, 2006
The Gaucho Men had to take the good with the bad this afternoon as they look to improve upon last year's 3rd place finish. UCSB came away with one crowned Champion and two All-Conference finishes in seven events but are competing with two of their top sprinters at half strength after some injuries. The Men like the Women sit in third place after day three of the Big West Championships. The Mustangs of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are an early surprise racking up big points in the field and in the distances with 72.5 points to Long Beach State's 59.5 points. The Gauchos sit currently in 3rd place with 49.5 points.
Micah Tyhurst (Jr.) ran away with the Conference 10,000m title this evening with a blistering 59 second lap which he used to gap Brian Baker and Jameson Mora of Cal Poly SLO. A slow pace to begin with kept a pack of eight to ten runners together through four miles. Jim Grabow, the Conference leader at this event took with two miles to go pushing the front pack as 5th-8th place fell back a bit forming a group to battle it out with. Within that pack was Freshman Waleed Totari who had covered every move to be in position to score for UCSB. With 800m to go SLO's Baker and Mora attempted to break Grabow and Tyhurst, but after finishing 5th place a year ago he would not be out done in '06. Getting away from Grabow, but unable to lose the Gaucho, Tyhurst would kick home in 30:54.91 for his first Big West individual Championship. A little ways back Totari would continue to run smart pulling ahead of two of the four in his pack finishing 6th in 31:20.52.
The other final on the track was the 3,000m Steeplechase. Stepping to the line as the 2nd seed with an 8:59, Mike Chavez needed a great race to overcome the Conference leader at 8:45 in Luke Llamas of SLO. A slow pace welcomed the field as Kluve of Irvine led the pack. Three laps into the race, Llamas would turn on the afterburners losing everyone but Chavez who shadowed his every move. Farther back, an interesting race developed for 6th and 7th as Ben Berkowitz (Sr.) and Mike Powers (So.) kept plugging away. With 400m to go, Llamas would find another gear as Chavez was unable to match his final move. The Gaucho would cross the line 2nd, with his second best personal mark of 9:04. Berkowitz would power down the homestretch along with his teammate, solidifying the 6th and 7th positions in 9:27.75 and 9:28.34 respectively.
Out in the field, the Men's Javelin was turned up a notch with some high energy coming from Gaucho's John Delaney (Jr.) and Gabe Mann (Sr.). The Conference leader at 220 feet, Mann has been nursing some slight pains, but nonetheless has stayed consistent at over 200 feet. Getting the field going, Delaney would throw near his personal best of just over 186 feet in his first attempt. With the others unable to respond, Mann would be next to launch one, putting one out past the 200 foot mark. Aris Borjas of SLO then put out just a bit further as he continues to compete well in the latter half of the season. Then on his second attempt, Delaney would unleash a eight foot personal best going 194-06. The Gauchos would stay 2-3 until 200 plus thrower, Chris Richardson of Long Beach St., broke up UCSB by putting one out just shy of 200 feet. Mann would improve upon last year's 3 place finish, grabbing 2nd, while Delaney had a phenomenal competition finishing 4th.
In the Men's Hammer Throw, the first event of the day at 9:00am, the Gauchos finished 5th and 7th as Reif Lawson (So.) was a bit off his mark today unable to crack 180 feet. Jeff Stewart however made up some ground for the Gauchos sending one off past the 180 foot mark for now the second meet in a row, showing some consistency on the Sophomores part. His 180-03 today was only five inches shorter than his best set two weeks ago at home.
Also scoring for the Gauchos this afternoon was Eugene Tuzkov in the Pole Vault, tying for 7th place with a clearance of 15-01. Ryan Donnelly, one of the Gaucho sprinters nursing some injuries, went out and still competed well grabbing 8th place with a jump of 22-08.50.
The Gauchos will enter Saturday's finals with Max Bellissimo (So.) and Donnelly, two of their top sprinters, slightly tattered. Donnelly qualified for the 100m final but will be questionable, although he was still able to manage a personal best of 10.76. Also in that 100m Dash, Jason Newland (Fr.) ran a lifetime best of 11.02 but will not be advancing to finals. Bellissimo fell short of qualifying in the 200m and 400m but will be on the squads relay teams. Kris Shirley, after running a 47.57 two weeks ago in the 400m, qualified for finals in the 7th position.
Key Qualifiers for Tomorrow's Finals:
Ryan Donnelly (Jr.) - Heat 1, 5th place, 10.76 (questionable for tomorrow)
Kris Shirley (Fr.) - Heat 2, 4th place, 48.61
Jeff Campbell (Fr.) - Heat 2, 4th place, 1:52.48 (personal best)
Elmer Guzman (Fr.) - Heat 1, 4th place, 57.28