IRVINE, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's track and field team claimed the 21st Big West Challenge Cup on Friday, defeating second-place Long Beach State, 187.5 to 170.0. The Gaucho men finished second to the 49ers, 213.5 to 183.0.
The UCSB women's team claimed four event titles en route to the win. Jennifer Carey posted a narrow victory in the 200 meters, edging Cal State Fullerton's Ashley Sims, 24.08 to 24.19. Cassie Brooker and Maxine Goyette went 1-2 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Brooker's clocked a 10:40.44 for the victory, nearly 23 second ahead of her teammate.
In addition to winning four events, several other Gauchos had high finishes.
Grace Esslinger was second in the 100 meters in 12.16 and in the 100 meter hurdles with a clocking of 14.34. Amanda Rodriguez placed second in the 400 meters with a time of 54.98, just short of the winning time of 54.96. Freshman Jesse Hansen ran a 2:13.67 in the 800 meters to finish second while Dani Moreno narrowly missed a victory in the 3,000 meters. Moreno posted a time of 10:00.03 and the winner, Emily Taylor of Fullerton, ran a 9:59.99. The Gauchos 400 meter relay team also finished in the second slot.
UCSB athletes had second-place finishes in three other field events as well. Freshman Tori Usgaard tied for second in the high jump with a leap of 5' 01" while Veronica Gines was second in the long jump at 18' 03". Gines was also third in the hammer throw. Finally, Jennifer Melton javelin throw of 125' 03" was good for second.
The Gaucho men were paced by their middle and distance runners, as well as high jumper Mitchell Haag.
Haag continued his outstanding season with another victory. He recorded a top mark of 6' 08.75" for the win.
Shyan Vaziri posted a pair of wins. He ran a 1:52.13 to win the 800 meters and then he came back with a 3:49.57 to claim the win in the 1,500 meters. Freshman Bryan Guijarro clocked an 8:33.69 to win the 3,000 meters while Andrew Farkas and Austin Goodheart gave the Gauchos a 1-2 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with times of 3:17.18 and 3:17.33 respectively.
Both Gaucho teams return to action next week. Some athletes will travel to the Mt. SAC Invitational and others will compete at the Azusa Pacific Bryan Clay Invitational.