2005 Track & Field Preview

Feb. 3, 2005

The Men are coming off of their highest point total ever at the Big West Championships, good enough for a fourth place finish. In 2004 the Gaucho men crowned three individual Big West champions, one Western Regional champion and qualified three athletes for the NCAA Division I Championships in Austin, Texas. The Gauchos enter the 2005 season after saying good bye to Big West Champions Nohel Corral (400m), Chris White (5000m); Regional qualifier Mark Martello (pole vault) as well as standout veterans Richie Alpers in the throws, Zach Ring in the sprints, and a talented group of distance runners in Pablo Gallegos (All-Big West Cross Country), David Monico (All-Big West 5000m) and DJ Ozan.

The Sprints

Entering 2005, the Gauchos will look to veteran Ryan Donnelly (Jr.) for his speed in the 100m and 200m events. At 400m Justin Morgan (So.) and newcomers Max Bellissimo, Gustav Lindstrom and Kai Glover will look to make up the loss of key runner Nohel Corral. Returners Ben Armel (Sr.) and Tetlo Emmen (Jr.) will also add depth to the 4x400m relay crew.

The Distances

Returning conference qualifiers in all events, the Gaucho distance squad fields another strong group for 2005. At 800m, going 1-2 at the West Regional qualifier as well as at the Big West Championships, two time Big West champion, Armel (1:48.00) and West Regional champ, Emmen (1:48.75), will lead the charge for UCSB, continuing the tradition of strong half milers. Armel, qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials "B" standard with his race at the Cardinal qualifier in May and ranked 37th in the USA at this event in 2004. Also, joining them will be Ryan McGinnis who finished 6th in last year's Big West 800m finals and newcomers Rob Handley and Tyler Patterson. In the 1500m, the Gauchos return conference scorers Mike Chavez (So.) and Chris Ashley (So.) as well as 2003 West Regional qualifier, Scott McConville (Jr.). All three came off of career best cross country seasons, while McConville holds the fourth fastest all-time Gaucho mark and Chavez holds the eighth at 1500m. In the 3000m steeplechase, the Gauchos return Alex Cardiosmenos (Sr.), Carter Phelps (Jr.) and Mike Powers (So.) who finished within two seconds of each other at last year's Big West finals to finish 6th, 5th and 4th respectively. The 5000m & 10,000m events welcomes the return of accomplished distance runner, Jeff Gardina, a national qualifier in Cross Country as well as holding the third fastest all-time Gaucho 10K. The Gauchos also hope to see fast times out of Chris Ashley and Mike Chavez after having phenomenal 2004 cross country seasons, as well as JC transfer JD Krawczyk and freshman Brett Thompson.

The Throws

The Gaucho men's throwing crew returns two regional qualifiers in the shot put, Eugene Bradley (So.) and Ryan Lockner (Sr.). Bradley threw a personal best of 55'2", good for 15th in the Western Region and third all-time for the Gauchos. Lockner, a shot put specialist, finished 6th at the Big West Championships with a personal best toss of 54'3.75" far enough for a regional qualifying mark. A slew of talented returners will join these two, including returners, Reif Lawson (So.), Matt Mettler (So.), Jeff Stewart (Fr.) and Shaun Tolnay (So.). Also adding depth to the group will be newcomers Scott Anderson, Matt Barkley, Travis Leonard, Nick Sheuerman and Ian Morgan,. Ex-Gaucho Baseball pitcher/outfielder Gabe Mann (Jr.) will join conference qualifier Gianpaolo Licata (Jr.) in the javelin.

The Jumps

The long jump squad returns conference qualifier, Isaac Herrera (Jr.), Ryan Donnelly (So.), and Preston Biller (Sr.). Herrera leaped to 7th place in the Big West Conference finals and posted a season best of 23'07.25". Gaining a season back after being plagued by injuries is Preston Biller (Sr.) who holds a personal best of 23'05.50". Ryan Donnelly(So.), who has also jumped mid-23ft, will add depth to this trio of jumpers. The Gaucho men welcome back high jumper Kent Centers (Jr.) who finished 2nd at the Big West Championships in 2003. Joining him is newcomer Jacob Maus, who jumped 6'8.5" in high school. The team will look to both Centers and Maus to score much needed points on the field.

The Hurdles

In the process of being transformed by Coach Don-Dave's Rougeaux, "hurdle nation" brings back Brent Linas (So.), as well as red-shirt freshman Nino Kolyouthapong. The Gaucho men also will look to JC transfer Anteo Quiroz and newcomer Albert Rojas for depth to this growing squad.

The Vault

The vault crew welcomes back Sean Thomas-Bignami (Sr.) who cleared 15'11" at the Steve Scott invitational in May of 2004. He also finished 4th at the Big West Championships. Joining him will be conference scorer Eugene Tuzkov (Jr.) and newcomer Stewart Short, who cleared 14'8" in high school.