Late Mid-Season Report: Gauchos Prepare for Big Meets
April 20, 2006
A few select Gauchos will be traveling up to the Oregon Invitational this weekend at Hayward Field on the campus of University of Oregon in Eugene to compete for coveted NCAA Regional Qualifying marks. With only one week remaining until the Cal-Poly-UCSB Dual and just over three weeks remaining until the Big West Championships, the performance lists are beginning to settle and where the Gauchos lie in Conference and Nationally is coming into view.
Consistently healthy for his first time in three years, Ryan Donnelly (Jr.) has been setting personal bests at 100m and 200m in '06. He has set the #5 UCSB All-Time marks in both events and ranks 7th and 5th respectively with marks of 10.86 and 21.74. Max Bellissimo (Jr.), '05 All-Conference finisher at 400m is currently ranked 9th in the 200m, just under the Big West qualifying standard with a 22.06 and is 10th at 400m. Freshman Kris Shirley threw down at the Cal-Nev Championships dipping under 49 seconds in the 400m, with a 48.73, good for 8th in the Big West. Cal Poly and UCSB are evenly matched in the front of the sprints but UCSB's depth should put them ahead in a week.
Without a red-shirting All-American Tetlo Emmen and a graduated Ben Armel, UCSB's 800m crew has a new face on board. Freshman Jeff Campbell whom has had to battle some early season injuries but bounced back well this past weekend at the Pomona Invitational with a win in his section and seasonal best of 1:54.39 in a cold downpour. His mark is currently 8th in the Big West but look for that time to drop with warm weather. Also under 1:55 is miler, Scott McConville (Sr.), sitting in at 12th in conference fellow miler Mike Chavez (Jr.) is 14th with a 1:55.09.
In the metric mile, School Record Holder, McConville finds himself at the top of the list in Big West after his performance in the 1500m at the Mt. Sac Relays. His time of 3:50.46 is well above his record of 3:46.77 but he will get great chances of lowering it this weekend and next at home with the next three Men on the Big West 1500m list all coming from San Luis Obispo. Three other Gauchos are on the Big West Top 10, with Chris Ashley (So.) lying in 6th (3:52.7), Micah Tyhurst 9th (3:54.30) and Mike Chavez 10th (3:55.01).
Big West Cross Country Champion Ashley placed an exclamation on that feat when he rolled the #2 fastest UCSB All-Time mark in the 5,000m a few weeks ago, winning the 2nd section of the Stanford Invitational in a personal best 14:03.65. That mark leads the Big West by sixteen seconds, is 17th in the country, and is 3rd in the West Region. Micah Tyhurst (Jr.) who had a breakout year in '05 is right on track of where he was last year, only a little faster this year at this point after he ran a seasonal best of 14:24.04 placing 6th in conference. Also, one to look for is J.D. Krawczyk (Jr.), a transfer from Santiago Canyon Junior College. Krawczyk took off thirty-three seconds from his personal best all by himself at the All-Cal Cup and then set a 10k PR at the Stanford Invite dipping under thirty minutes with a time of 29:57.36. He ranks 11th and 2nd respectively in Conference for those events.
At the Steeplechase level, Scott Brandos (Sr.) a regular at the top of the Gaucho and Big West charts has been battling an illness throughout the season that has left him off his game. A poor performance this past weekend at 1500m, a doctor's visit and a few good practices later, Brandos may regain his Mojo has he will step on the track again against Cal Poly's always tough steeplechasers next weekend. Also, Tyhurst just missed a NCAA Regional Qualifying mark for the second year in a row when he ran 9:08.20 at Mt. Sac but nonetheless squeaked into the UCSB All-Time list at the #10 spot .04 seconds. 1500m standout, Chavez, hit 9:18.32 in his first steeplechase attempt after a quick spill over a barrier also last Thursday at Mt. Sac. The two of them are rank 3rd and 5th respectively in the Big West.
A little light this year, a group of Freshman hurdlers are adjusting to the collegiate level while the veterans attempt to hold things down. In the 110m High Hurdles, multi-talented Kent Centers (Jr.) has run this event in '06 to secure valuable points for the Gauchos that led to an All-Cal Cup team title in early March when he sprinted a 15.85, the 10th best mark in the Conference. In the 400m hurdles, Elmer Guzman (Fr.) ran an early season 57.77 only to nurture an injury for a few weeks after. His time is 11th in the Big West as he returns to full strength while teammate Nino Kolyouthapong (Jr.) is 12th with a 58.43.
Jumps & Vault
'05 NCAA Regional Qualifier in the Long Jump, Donnelly has struggled to get his steps down all season as he speeds up his approach to take off. Nonetheless he has managed a 22-10 jump during the regular season and a 23-01 in February to start of the year. Site of last year's Regional Championships, Donnelly will get another chance this weekend in Eugene and then return home for possibly another go at the 24 foot plus mark. Centers and Jacob Maus (So.) have been jumping consistently in the High Jump in '06 just missing some big ones in the past two weeks. Maus leads the Gauchos with his jump of 6-07.75, but do not count out Centers who has been getting through shin splints only having high jumped 6-06.75. In '03 he surprised many when his 5-10 frame leaped over 6-11 at the Big West Championships.
In the Pole Vault, Eugene Tuzkov (Jr.) leads the Gauchos with a regular season best vault of 15-03 that is good for 6th in the Big West. However, if he can repeat his 15-07 feat achieved at the Home Opener that can bump him up as high as 4th in the Big West just off the 16+ footers that hold the top three spots.
Gone north, "Big Gene" or Eugene Bradley to others, All-Conference finisher and 200+ foot Hammer Thrower red-shirted his '06 season to train in the cold tundra of our northern neighbors Canada. Meanwhile in the pleasantly warm weather of Santa Barbara, the throwers have been stepping up big in all events. Beginning with the prime time event for the big men, the Shot Put, vegetarian Matt Barkley (So.) put up a big one at USC going 55-08.50. He is 3rd in the Big West although he has taken out the leader from Long Beach St. once already this year. Barkley is also ranked 61st in the country and 16th in the West Region in the event.
Jeff Stewart (So.) has also been putting up some personal bests launching the shot 53-08.50 ranking him right behind his teammate in Conference at 4th place. Freshman Timothy Delmundo has thrown farther at UCSB with a heavier shot than he did in high school as this welcome newcomer has gone over 50 feet with a mark of 50-03.50 placing him 8th in the Big West. And just when you thought that was all UCSB had, possibly returning to the squad this weekend and at the very least at home next weekend versus Cal Poly, Freshman phenom, Scott Anderson will put on the uniform for the first time in 2006. In '05 he set the #2 UCSB All-Time mark when he launched the shot 55-11 qualifying himself for the NCAA Regional Championships.
Out in the Discus ring, Reif Lawson (So.) has been holding things down a bit currently ranked 7th in the Big West with a mark of 154-07, just a few feet short of his personal best. He has however made waves in the Hammer where he has set a personal best by almost twenty feet going 180-01. Stewart is right behind him in Conference also hitting a PR by quite a bit when he went for 177-03 feet this past weekend at the Pomona Invitational.
And, finally out on the Javelin runway. Gabe Mann (Sr.) has already set a personal best by over ten feet going 220-01 feet during the regular season and launching one 222-02 in February. He ranks 1st in the Big West by almost ten feet, 21st in the country and 9th in a tough West Region. A new addition to the squad, John Delaney has been welcomed as he has thrown over 170 feet already but does have a personal best over 190 feet. He too will become a factor come conference time. The Mustangs of Cal Poly will be a little light in the throws as they come to UCSB in a week, however they do have a javelin thrower who can do some damage as he is 2nd in the Big West behind Mann.
The Gauchos will be in great company this weekend at the Oregon Invitational as they also get prepared for the battle of Central Coast supremacy here at home on Saturday, April 29th versus Cal Poly SLO. Events tentatively begin at Noon.
UCSB Men's All-Time Top 10 Lists
Gauchos by the Numbers
3 - Men Nationally Ranked
3 - Men Leading the Big West
32 - Men's Marks Ranked in the Big West Top 10
13 - New All-Time Top 10 Marks
NCAA Men's National Peformance Lists
NCAA Men's West Region Peformance Lists
NCAA Nationally Ranked Gauchos (West Region)
Chris Ashley, 5000m - #17, 14:03.65 (#3)
Matt Barkley, Shot Put - #61, 55-08.25 (#16)
Gabe Mann, Javelin Throw - #21, 220-01 (#9)
Big West Conference Men's Peformance Lists
Gaucho Men in the Big West Top 10
7. Ryan Donnelly, 10.86
5. Ryan Donnelly, 21.74
9. Max Bellissimo, 22.06
5. Kris Shirley, 48.73
10. Max Bellissimo, 48.99
8. Jeff Campbell, 1:54.39
1. Scott McConville, 3:50.46
6. Chris Ashley, 3:52.17
9. Micah Tyhurst, 3:54.30
10. Mike Chavez, 3:50.01
3. Micah Tyhurst, 9:08.20
5. Mike Chavez, 9:18.32
8. Ben Berkowitz, 9:23.72
1. Chris Ashley, 14:03.65
6. Micah Tyhurst, 14:24.04
2. J.D. Krawczyk, 29:57.36
10. Kent Centers, 15.85
5. UCSB, 41.67
4. UCSB, 3:15.72
6. Jacob Maus, 6-07.75
8. Kent Centers, 6-06.75
6. Eugene Tuzkov, 15-03.75
10. Ryan Donnelly, 22-10.00
3. Matt Barkley, 55-08.25
4. Jeff Stewart, 53-08.50
8. Timothy Delmundo, 50-03.50
7. Reif Lawson, 154-05
9. Travis Leonard, 150-05
3. Reif Lawson, 180-01
4. Jeff Stewart, 177-03
1. Gabe Mann, 220-01
9. John Delaney, 176-02