Gauchos Look to Hit Their Stride in Cal Poly Dual

Gauchos Look to Hit Their Stride in Cal Poly Dual

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Shifting back to team competition after back to back weekends of relay and open event action, the UCSB track and field programs will return to team scoring with the annual Cal Poly Dual this Saturday hosted by Cal Poly in SLO. Last season the Gauchos split with the Mustangs, with the UCSB men taking the win and UCSB women falling short in the last events. 

The field events are slated to start at 10am with the women's hammer. The running events will begin at 12:30pm with the women's 3,000m steeplechase. The competition should conclude around 3:45pm. Admission will be free for all spectators.

"This is always one of our highlight meets of the season. Our teams match up well and this should be another see-saw Dual. The distance races are lining up to be especially good this year and will be exciting to watch." said Associate Head Coach Cody Fleming. 

"There will be some good old fashion racing from both teams to look forward to." 

Typical for this late season meet, a wealth of track and field talent will be on display at the dual. Between both squads, 9 Big West Conference leaders will be in attendance. 

UCSB - Cal Poly Dual Meet Schedule 

LIVE Results


Saturday, April 30th 
Women's Hammer starts at 10:00am 
Running events start at 12:30pm  (Women's 3,000m Steeplechase) 

This will be the 11th straight year the "Battle of the Central Coast" will be held. In 2005, the series took a brief pause for a 5-way scored meet held in San Luis Obispo. Over the previous ten seasons the UCSB men have compiled a record of 8-2 in the series. The UCSB women are 6-4 in that span. 

How is it Scored?
5-3-2-1 (Only two athletes per team count in the scoring).
5-3 will be the scoring for relays.

Dual Meet Records
The UCSB women have a perfect 9-0 dual meet record on the season. They took team wins at the All-UC, Big West Double Dual and Big West Challenge Cup. 

The Gaucho men are 5-4 on the year in dual meet scoring. They placed second at both the All-UC and Big West Challenge Cup. 

Conference Leaders and Intriguing Match-Ups

So far this season, UCSB and Cal Poly have combined to put up 88 marks which occupy top-eight spots on the Big West performance list in individual events (up from 82 the previous year). Both teams have a balanced presence with strong distance programs and high powered field event performers. Coaches in the Big West know the Big West cross country title goes through Pete Dolan and Cal Poly Head Coach Mark Conover on a regular basis and their deep distance programs have led to great success on the track. 

Nine athletes between the two squads currently have #1 Big West rankings in 10 events making this weekend's Dual a showcase of talent just as much as it's going to be a showcase of team depth. 

Conference Leaders...

Women's 1,500m, Tori Tsolis, UCSB, 4:19.02
Women's High Jump, Jessica Emde, UCSB, 5'10 
Women's 5,000m, Payton Bilo, Cal Poly, 16:13.55 
Women's Triple Jump, Kendal Nielsen, Cal Poly, 41'4.25 

Men's 800m, Shyan Vaziri, UCSB, 1:49.48
Men's 1500m, Shyan Vaziri, UCSB, 3:42.23
Men's 400m Hurdles, Myles McDonald, UCSB, 51.55

Men's Javelin, Matthew Kuskey, UCSB, 218'6
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase, Nick Woolf, Cal Poly, 8:48.03
Men's 5,000m, Swarnjit Boyal, Cal Poly, 14:02.40 

Intriguing Match-Ups...

Women's 800m
UCSB's Tsolis, the conference leader in the 1500m will square off with Cal Poly's Allie Saulitis. Tsolis has a season best of 2:10.63 to Saluitis' best of 2:10.84 in the event. Keep an eye on Jenna Hinkle and Kaitlin Large from UCSB, also in the event. Large has a season best in the 800m of 2:12.98 while Hinkle is a tick faster at 2:12.73. 

Men's 1500m
Conference leader Vaziri (3:42.23) will meet a potentially loaded field in the 1500m. Joining him on the Big West list are teammates George Baier (3:45.56), Tommy Poston (3:46.99), Brad Littoy (3:49.55), Patrick Bourke (3:49.78) and Anthony Ortolan (3:50.46). The Mustangs have Peter Cotsirilos (3:49.30), Alex Heuchert (3:49.54), Clayton Hutchins (3:50.75) and Garrett Migliozzi (3:50.77).  

Women's 1500m
Tsolis will headline of of the highlight events of the meet in the women's 1500m. Tsolis reset the UCSB school record in the event at the Mt. Sac Relays at 4:19.02. She will be joined by teammate Jenna Hinkle (4:25.31). The Mustangs have a dangerous duo of freshman in Katie Izzo and Payton Bilo. Izzo has a better time at 4:22.95 but Bilo's 4:23.30 is also outstanding. 

Women's 100m Hurdles
UCSB will send a freshman duo of Hope Bender and Erika Foster into the meet. Bender has a best time of 14.09 while Foster has a best of 14.33, a time she shares with Cal Poly's Ciary Levy for #10 in the conference on the year. UCSB's Tori Usgaard has a season best of 14.49.

Women's Pole Vault
Local Gaucho star Sierra Emrick will return to her home county looking for a big PR in the pole vault. Emrick, a Morro Bay native, has a season best in the event at 13'0.25. Cal Poly will field freshman Hannah Chang who has a best jump of 12'0.

Women's High Jump
In maybe the marquee field event of the meet, UCSB senior and Big West Champion Jessica Emde will go head to head against Cal Poly's Danielle Taylor. Emde has a season best leap of 5'10 to Taylor's 5'9.25. UCSB also will compete freshman Taylor Eddleman who has a season best jump of 5'7. 

Women's Triple Jump
The Big West leader in the event, Kendal Nielsen will be looking to win her last home meet in her signature event. Nielsen has a season best leap of 41'4.25. UCSB will send a duo of freshman into the competition in Alivia Schlueter and Jazmin Moss. Leading a resurgence in the triple jump for the Gauchos, Schlueter has a season best jump of 39'2.25 and Moss has a best leap of 39'1.25. 

Men's Discus
Four of the top-11 Big West throwers will be attendance led by Cal Poly's Arnold Sambel. He has a best throw of 168'0 on the season. UCSB's Stephen Leach has a best throw of 158'11 and freshman Kordell Hampton has a best throw of 158'8.  Nate Vickers from Cal Poly has a best throw of 157'9. 

Men's Javelin
UCSB has the Big West leader in the event in Kuskey (218'6). Cal Poly has the second and third ranked throwers in the league with Alex Ziebart (204'9) and Nick Ahrold (203'8).  In fact, seven of the top-eight throwers in the Big West come from UCSB or Cal Poly. 

Top-10 UCSB Marks
An update on the number of marks in the top-ten on the UCSB All-Time list reveals 27 new entries in 2016 so far. The UCSB women have produced 16 compared to 11 on the men's side.  

School Record Holders
Four new UCSB records have fallen in 2016 so far, including the men's and women's 1500m marks. Vaziri reset his school record at the UCSB Legends Invite with a 4:00.01 mile performance which converts to a 3:42.23 1500m. Tsolis lowered her 1500m best at the Mt. Sac Relays, finishing in 4:19.02. Melissa Rake added distance to the javelin record she has owned since 2014 with her 160'1 win at the Big West Challenge Cup. McDonald rewrote a 37 year old school record in the 400m hurdles, finishing in 51.55 at the Aztec Invite.  

BIG WEST Combined Events UP NEXT
Next up for the Gauchos will be the first weekend of the Big West Championships which will include the combined-events portion of the championship. The decathlon and heptathlon will be May 6-7 at Long Beach State. The rest of the championships will be held the following weekend, May 13-14, also at Long Beach State. 

Check back with for full team results and a meet recap.