Santa Barbara, Calif. - After knocking the off-season rust off at the Round-Up, the UCSB Men's and Women's Track and Field teams will travel south this weekend to compete in the All-UC Championship. The Gauchos will take on host UC San Diego and UC Irvine this Saturday, March 6th in an early season match-up of Big West and CCAA athletes. The competition will be held at the Triton Track and Field Stadium in La Jolla with the field events starting at 1pm and the track events set to be underway at 1:30pm.
Parking is free on the weekends at UCSD but space is limited by the track. See the Meet Information link for more details. Admission will be $5.00 for adults.
All-UC Championship- UCSB vs. UC San Diego and UC Irvine
Scored in international dual meet format. 7-5-4-3-2-1.
The Gaucho men will have their handful in an early season match up with the UC San Diego Tritons, a team that won the CCAA Outdoor Conference Championship last spring. Winning five individual event titles, the Tritons put their depth on display, scoring a whopping 216 team points enroute to defeating Chico State who wound up finishing 16th at the NCAA DII National Championship.
Also on the men's side, UC Irvine will be a team loaded with firepower headlined by hurdler Lloyd Sicard. An NCAA qualifier one year ago, Sicard holds the UCI record in the 110HH at a blistering 13.60. Sicard will be taking the blocks in the open 100m, making an intriguing match up with UC San Diego's Paul Doan, a 10.65 man by trade.
On the women's side the Gauchos will take on a UCSD team that finished third at the CCAA Championships in 2015. The UCI women are led by Ariel Cheng, the Big West Pole Vault runner-up, who has a personal best jump of 12'10.75.
Men's Round-Up Recap
The UCSB men won 17 of 18 events at the Round-Up. Two of those wins going to UCSB junior Stephen Leach. George Baier took the win in the mile, a race where the top three Gauchos were 4:11 or faster. Sprint Coach Travis Anderson shuffled up the order of the 4 x 400m relays to make for a competitive race. In the end, a team made up of two decathletes took the win, edging the other Gaucho squad by a full second.
Ortolan and Co.
UCSB senior Anthony Ortolan was back on the track at Westmont for the first time since qualifying for the NCAA Cross Country Championships back in November. Ortolan pulled double duty, finishing the mile in 4:11.88 and then covering the 3,000m in 8:26.09. He shares the #8 All-Time 3k mark in UCSB history with Bryan Guijarro at 8:23.61, a time that could be in jeopardy this weekend. Only Ortolan won't be in the field to do anything about it. Patrick Bourke, who was runner-up at the Round-Up brings an 8:26.43 best along with a truckful of momentum into the All-Cal. Also entered in the 3k this weekend is Shyan Vaziri, the UCSB school record holder in the 1,500m.
The UCSB javelin squad opened with some impressive marks at the Round-Up. Matthew Kuskey, a UCSB junior, held off his younger teammate, freshman Nemo Howe, 195'11 to 194'0. Throwing from a short approach, Kuskey's series was 182'5, 194'5, 188'2 and 195'11. Howe opened at 194'0 then delivered throws of 183'9, 192'4 and 179. Kuskey was last year's Big West Bronze medalist in the event and has a lifetime best of 205'11, a mark that qualified him for the NCAA West Regional.
Women's Round-Up Recap
The UCSB women showed their depth at the Round-Up, placing 1-3 in seven events while racking up 14 individual wins. Jazmin Moss led the team with wins in the long jump and triple jump. Moss, just a freshman, is only 5" out of the UCSB All-Time list in the triple jump. The youth movement didn't stop with Moss as two other freshman broke into the UCSB history books in the 100m hurdles. Hope Bender and Erika Foster locked into a solid early season battle with Bender taking the win at 14.45 to Foster's 14.59. Those are #5 and #7 All-Time on the UCSB list.
Tsolis Developing a Diversified Portfolio on the Track
A UCSB Economics graduate student, Victoria Tsolis won the 3,000m at the Round-Up and is scheduled to pull double duty for the Gauchos in San Diego, running the 3k along with the 800m. Tsolis should feel at home in the two-lap sprint as she was a CIF State Meet Finalist in the 800m as a prep senior while at Presentation High School in San Jose, CA. Showing her range, last spring Tsolis ran the #2 All-Time 1,500m in school history, clipping 4:21.95. Known for her ability to shift into gear on the final lap, it'll be a bull market for Tsolis when the bell starts ringing.
Emde on the Up and Up
After leaping to a new lifetime best 5'10.75 in the high jump during the indoor season, UCSB senior Jessica Emde is showing the form that led her to the Big West high jump title last spring. Emde won the conference title with a jump of 5'10.5, the #4 mark in UCSB history. She has 17 collegiate wins in the event.
Catching Up with The Vaulters'
The pole vault will be an event area to keep an eye on for the Gauchos. Returning Big West scorer Lauren Larson is joined by Brooke Pestano, both sharing the #6 mark in school history at 11'10. This fall the Gauchos welcomed in freshman Sierra Emrick, a local star from Morro Bay High School to the group. Emrick placed sixth at the CIF State Meet last spring and has a prep best of 12'7. Another freshman, Cassidy Peng, will add depth. Peng will also see action in the long jump and triple jump. With the 10th to second marks in school history being separated by seven inches, the All-Time list could see an ariel assault week in and week out.
The UCSB women's throw squad is led by Gaucho senior Melissa Rake. The school record holder in the javelin, Rake has twice placed second at the Big West meet in the event and has punched her ticket to the NCAA West Regional both years. She has a best in the event of 154'1. Rake will be joined by fellow senior Ashley Alama, who ranks #7 at UCSB in the discus with a throw of 157'11. Sophomore Kayla O'Brine has the #10 mark in the hammer at 163'8. O'Brine briefly held a spot on the All-Time list with her personal best of 150'3, until Alama took it away in the same competition (the UCR Spring Break) on her final throw. Should be a common theme this season.
"It's always a friendly affair at the UC meet. Unexpected good performances are the norm. We love competing at UC San Diego, it's one of the most quality and scenic tracks on the west coast." said Head Coach Pete Dolan.
Check back with ucsbgauchos.com after the meet for a full recap.