Feb. 16, 2008
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- The Gaucho track season kicked-off today with a quad-meet featuring UCSB, Westmont, Claremont Mudd-Scripps, and Pepperdine. The Gauchos would win 25 of the 35 events en route to victories in both the men's and women's team competitions.
The meet began with both sqauds winning the 4x100m relay race, with the women clocking in at 48.33 and the men at 43.77. Danielle Domenichelli would then cruise to a win the 1500m in her first of two victories on the day. Chris Ashley took the 1500m for the men as well.
In the sprints, senior Yuora Yelpaala got the win in the 400m as the only competitor to break 1 minute, crossing the line in 59.25. Jason Newland held-off Westmont's Ryan Kraft in a close 400m on the men's side. In the 100m, Dominique Augustus edged out Pepperdine's Amanda Ajdari by a hundredth of a second to win her first collegiate race. She would later win the 200m as well, finishing right in front of fellow freshman Lauren Kodama.
The Gauchos went 1-2 in both 800m races, with Justine Diaz and Lindsay Brunner taking the honors for the women, and Ryan Martin and Salim Benmohamed doing the same for the men. Martin and Benmohamed exchanged the lead several times during the race, but Martin was able to kick hard over the last 50 meters to take the victory.
Field events went well for the Gauchos, with Jeff Stewart taking the sweep by winning the discus, hammer throw, and shot put. Matt Barkley was a co-winner in the shot put, as he and Stewart both threw exactly 54'11" and split the points. Kayla Smith continued the winning ways in the throws by notching wins in the shot and discus. Other winners on the field included Jane Doolittle in the high jump, Jennifer Brown and Brian Rother in the pole vault, and David Hoff in the triple jump.
In the hurdle races, Brian Sung remained undefeated at home by winning the 110m hurdles in 15.83, going into a headwind. Freshman Barbara Nwaba had a good showing in her first meet as a Gaucho, taking the win in the 400m hurdles and placing 2nd in the 100m hurdles. Alvin Go also won the 400m hurdles for the men.
The distance crews performed well in this early-season meet, taking victories in the form of Michael Powers and Danielle Domenichelli in the 3000m. The men also took 2nd and 3rd in that race, with Andrew Pilavjian and Gabe Lopez closely trailing Powers. Breanne Strenkowski and Courtney Carder took 4th and 5th respectively for the women.
The meet concluded with the men's and women's 4x400m relays. The women were able to pull of the victory in 4:06.53, beating their nearest competitors by almost twenty seconds. The men finished less than a second behind the squad from Claremont in an exciting and hotly-battled contest.
Up next for the track squads is the All-Cal Challenge, an annual battle of the UC schools that should be an exciting competition. The meet will be held on March 1 at Irvine, Calif.
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