March 18, 2006
The Gauchos entered the end of Winter Quarter 2006 with the beginning of finals week today and a trip up to the campus of central coast rival Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for the Cal Poly Invitational. A meet open to any athlete whether collegiate or professional, UCSB traveled a half squad this morning to SLO due to some taking their finals and others studying hard for future ones. Nonetheless those who did make the journey up north achieved some good marks.
Beginning with the field events that got underway before the action started on the track, mild temperatures and no win made for great conditions for the throwers. On the Gauchos side of things Kara Mathews (Sr.) in her fourth competition in the sport of Track & Field, again improved her Javelin throw by almost another five feet tossing the Javelin 109-08.50. She finished 11th and is now just five feet under the Big West qualifying mark of 115 feet. At the Pole Vault area along side the homestretch of the SLO venue, Jessica Horn (Jr.) set a seasonal best of 10-11.75 while Melanie Sonby (So.) vaulted a new personal best of 10-05.75. They finished 9th and 11th respectively.
At 11am, the running events kicked off with the 3,000m Steeplechase. UCSB Senior Ben Berkowitz ran a 9:38.43 for the win as he was in front from the gun. The Gaucho lady sprinters were up next running good with a great time of 47.74 in the 4x100m. That time just edged out Fresno state for 2nd place and ranks as the 7th fastest UCSB All-Time mark, this without with top sprinter senior Kylie McCuen on the relay this afternoon.
Stellamarie Hall (Jr.) then started off her career day in the 100m hurdles as she came in third with a personal best mark of 14.81, however wind aided at +2.2 meters per second (2.0 and under is considered a legal wind aided breeze). Unofficially, that is the 5th fastest UCSB All-Time mark.
At 1500m, large fields welcomed the metric mile racers. For the women, twenty-two toed the line in the first heat of the event. For the Gauchos, Stephanie Rothstein (Jr.), a longer distance specialist she raced to a 4th place finish and a six second personal best of 4:34.86. Just a few seconds back, Hadas Moser (Jr.) took 7th in a seasonal best, 4:40.86.
In the top section of the men's 1500m, sixteen started including four Gauchos. Still tuning up for the meat and potatoes of the season; the months of April and May, school record holder at the distance, Scott McConville was the top finisher for UCSB in 4th place with a seasonal best 3:54.37. Just a few steps behind him was J.D. Krawczyk (Jr.) who set his fourth consecutive personal best by a little over two tenths of second in 3:55.49, good for 6th place.
Out at the High Jump, which got underway at 1pm, Jacob Maus notched a seasonal best and the win, matching a Notre Dame athlete with a leap of 6-07.75 in a jump-off. Maus just missed the regional qualifying height of 06-10.75 which resulted in the jump-off. For the women, Jane Doolittle (Fr.) finished 4th with a seasonal best jump of 5-02.
Back on the track, Elise Geiger (Sr.) notched a seasonal best and was just .01 off her personal best as she hammered down the straightaway in 12.24 finishing in fourth. The hurdlers stepped to the line next in the 400m hurdles as Hall once again led them. In the first heat, Hall got out the first 200m in twenty-nine seconds for the second week in a row, but this time was able to hold it as she powered past the field going down the homestretch in another personal best of 62.77, the win and the 7th best UCSB All-Time mark. Diana Joyner (Jr.) then in the second heat came on strong the final 200m making up some serious ground on the leader. Coming off the final hurdle she pulled into the lead and held it for a personal best time of 64.39 and the second best mark out of both heats combined.
At 800m, Moser doubled back after her seasonal best at 1500m and hit a 2:20.90 in her first 800m of the season. Last year, Moser showed great range as she finished an All-Conference 3rd place in the 10,000m event. For the men, 400m specialist and All-Conference finisher at the event, Max Bellissimo, moved up in distance this afternoon racing the half-mile. He would go onto take 5th in a time of 1:55.69, the third fastest time for a Gaucho this season at 800m. California Prep Star at 800m, Jeff Campbell also made his Gaucho debut as he is coming off an injury that set him back earlier this season. He was 8th in 1:57.98.
The last distance event of the day witnessed the Gauchos sweep the top four spots as 2005 Regional Qualifier at 5000m, Megan Lewis (Jr.) led wire to wire racing to a 17:18.49 in her first track race of the season. Bethany Nickless (So.) was 2nd in 17:52.87 while Freshman Liza Hitchner just missed the Conference qualifying mark of 18:15 running an 18:17.13 in her first 5,000m. Christie Farson (Jr.) was the fourth Gaucho in a time of 18:21.95, a seasonal best. The Gaucho sprinters again lowered one of their seasonal bests, this time in the 4x400m again without McCuen on the roster. Geiger, Hall, Joyner and Kerry Gamble (So.) nabbed a 3rd in 3:53.78.