March 11, 2008

Track Signs Six Athletes to National Letters of Intent

March 11, 2008

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent with the UC Santa Barbara men's and women's track and field teams, it was announced recently by the coaching staff. Here is a quick overview of these athletes, along with a sneak peak at their expected roles for the 2009 track season.

Ashley Beechan is a cross country specialist for Hemet High in Idyllwild, Calif. She ran an 18:08 at the 2007 CIF Finals on the Mt. SAC course, and was the 2007 Sunbelt League Champion. In track, she mainly competes in the mile, so she will likely start her collegiate career running the 1500m.

Maddy Franklin is a multi-sport athlete at Arroyo Grande High in Arroyo Grande, Calif., a school that is known for having a powerhouse throws program. Franklin was among the top-25 high school athletes in the shot put last season, and is among the top-10 returners in the state of California for the upcoming high school track season. She possesses a tremendous amount of athletic ability, as is evident from her ability to compete at a varsity level in both track and basketball.

Callie Mulgannon will join the Gauchos from Los Gatos High in Los Gatos, Calif. She is a good 800m runner who took 5th place in the Central Coast Section finals with a time of 2:15. She was also a member of her school's 4x400m relay team that advanced to the State Meet in 2007.

Mikael Powers currently competes for Chaparral High in Temecula, Calif. and is a two-sport athlete, competing in soccer and track. He has qualified for the Junior Olympics in the 400m hurdles and has a personal record of 55.76. Since he has already experienced the longer distance of the 400m hurdle race, he should make a smooth transition to collegiate competition and add to an already expanding hurdles crew.

Alyssa Rife hails from Southridge High in Beaverton, Ore. and is also very strong in the 400m hurdles. Her main focus will be on the heptathlon, as she is a good all-around athlete. Her current mark in the heptathlon would already sit third on the Gaucho all-time list, so she should be able to make immediate contributions to the team.

Tamara Thomas is a sprinter/jumper from Westridge High in Pasadena, Calif., and she specializes in the long jump and triple jump. She finished in 20th place overall at the 2007 California State Meet, and has personal bests of 18'0" in the long jump and 38'5" in the triple jump. While her main focus will be on the jumps, she could also compete in the 100m.

The Gauchos look forward to welcoming these promising young athletes to the track squads for the 2009 season.

-- www.UCSBgauchos.com --

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