June 5, 2007

Six Gauchos Prepared to Compete at NCAA Championships in Sacramento

June 5, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Led by five seniors, the UC Santa Barbara track and field teams will have six athletes, four women and two men, competing at the NCAA Championships which begin Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif.

Senior thrower Amy Haapanen, the Gaucho record holder in the hammer throw, shot put and discus, has qualified in the hammer throw and the shot put. She is the lone UCSB athlete to qualify in two events. Haapanen is seeded sixth in the hammer with a qualifying throw of 65.18 meters and she is seeded 16th in the shot with a mark of 15.93 meters. The Big West Field Athlete of the Year, she won both events at the league championships in May.

Two Santa Barbara seniors, Stephanie Rothstein and Megan Lewis, will compete in the 10,000 meters. Rothstein placed eighth in the event in 2006, earning All-American honors. This year, she is seeded fifth with a qualifying time of 33:26.79. Rothstein won both the 10,000 and 5,000 in record-setting times at the Big West Championships in May and consequently, she was chosen the league's Distance Runner of the Year. Lewis is seeded ninth in the 10,000 with a time of 33:30.13.

The final women's qualifier is junior Bethany Nickless. After winning the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Big West Championships, she finished second in the event at the NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore. Nickless, who has been getting better as the season has progressed, is seeded 13th with a qualifying time of 10:11.03.

Senior Eugene Bradley has qualified for the men's championships in the hammer throw. In February, Bradley set a UCSB record in the hammer with a heave of 212 feet and 11 inches. Seeded 16th, he was an at-large qualifier for the NCAA Championship meet with a mark of 64.71.

The final Gaucho to qualify for the NCAA Championships was senior javelin thrower John Delaney. A transfer from UC San Diego, Delaney qualified automatically at the Regionals in Eugene with a fifth-place finish and a throw of 210 feet and 3 inches, or 64.09 meters.

The NCAA Championships will begin Wednesday, June 6, and will be held at Hornet Stadium on the Sacramento State University campus. Previously, Hornet Stadium has played host to the 2003, 2005 and 2006 NCAA Championships and the 2004 United States Track and Field Olympic Trials. It has also been the site of one world record, six American records, 22 Olympic Trials records, eight U.S. Championship records and nine NCAA records.