Sept. 3, 2005
A sunny day on Alumni Saturday welcomed the racers and fans as the Gauchos ended the first chapter of their 2005 story with a strong showing versus Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and UCSB's Alumni squad at home this morning. Just missing the win, the Gauchos raced well against a Cal Poly squad that finished 10th in the NCAA Div. I National Championships in 2004 by keeping it close with a score of 28 to 34. The UCSB Alumni team finished with 71 points.
Mike Chavez (Jr.) got the individual win for the Gauchos with a course record time of 24:29.0, previously held by Ben Bruce formerly of Cal Poly (24:35). The top four finishers in today's race cracked into the top ten marks for the 8,000m course since it was restored in 2001.
Going off at 11am on UCSB's campus lagoon, the pack went through the first mile in a fast pace of approximately 4:35. UCSB Alumnus Jeff Gardina led the field with the majority of the Cal Poly team on his heels. Alex Cardiasmenos (Sr.), Chavez and Art Avitia (Jr.) of UCSB also made their way to the front.
A slower two-mile welcomed the field as the race entered some single track around the lagoon. Another UCSB Alumni, Chris White had also made his way to the lead pack along with Gardina and Cal Poly's Brian Baker. Cal Poly still dominated the race as UCSB's squad remained conservative through three miles.
A little over half way through the 8,000m course Baker had built a 40-50 meter lead. Chavez and Chris Ashley of UCSB who was racing unattached were moving up through the front pack slowly. Cardiasmenos also continued mix it up with Cal Poly's front group in what was becoming one of his best cross-country races for the Gauchos.
With a mile to go, Avitia maintained his position in the top ten while Scott McConville (Sr.) who started the race off the pack had moved up to the front looking strong. The Gauchos now had four in the top ten not including Ashley who was unattached. Coming into the last 800m, Chavez made his move past Baker with Ashley not to far behind. They had solidified the top two spots. Ashley finished in second with a time of 24:32.7, the second fastest time on the Campus Lagoon 8,000m course.
Rounding out the top five scorers for the Gauchos, Cardiasmenos finished 4th in a time of 24:45.8, the seventh fastest course time. The Gauchos third scorer was Avitia who also set a personal best mark of 24:55.5 coming in seventh. McConville took the ninth spot with a time of 25:04.5 and Tim Aukshunas (So.) was 18th in 25:27.3. Cracking the top ten for UCSB's alumni squad was J.T. Service, currently running for the Asics Aggies. He finished 10th with a time of 25:05.6.
The Gauchos start their next chapter the coming weekend at UC Irvine where they will toe the line at Central Park in Hunington Beach, CA.