March 13, 2008
Meet No. 4
Saturday, March 15, 2008
UCSB competes against UC Davis in a dual meet
at Pauley Track, UCSB | Santa Barbara, Calif.
Meet No. 5
Saturday, March 22, 2008
UCSB competes at the USC Invitational
at Loker Stadium, USC | Los Angeles, Calif.
(note: the hammer throw will take place on Friday the 21st at West Los Angeles College)
Thursday, March 20 and Friday, March 21, 2008
UCSB's multi-event athletes compete in the Northridge Multis
at Cal State Northridge | Northridge, Calif.
This Week In Track & Field
It's dual meet weekend this Saturday at Pauley Track, as the Gauchos will be competing in their first of two dual meets on the year. This week's event will be against Big West rivals UC Davis. UC Davis was recently promoted to Division I and is now a full-time member of the Big West Conference, so this meet will be one of their first forays into the top level of competition. Given the natural rivarly between the two athletic programs, the meet should make for a spirited contest. The meet will be fully scored, and a winning women's team and a winning men's team will be declared upon the conclusion of the final events. This is also the last home meet of the season for the Gauchos, so it's your last chance to catch the track athletes in action right here at UCSB. The field events will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the women's hammer, and the track events will begin at 12:00 noon with the steeplechase races. A full schedule is posted at the top the story page for this release on UCSBgauchos.com.
On the Horizon
Next weekend, the Gauchos will be riding into Troy to compete at the USC Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif. The meet will take place at Loker Stadium on the USC campus, a venue that holds over 3,000 spectators with a great view of all the action. Entries and times will be confirmed next week. Additionally, the Gaucho decathletes and heptathletes will have their first multi-event competition of the year next Thursday and Friday when they participate in the Northridge Multis at Cal State Northridge. The multi-event athletes have been working hard and entering different events at every meet in preparation for this competition, and this will be their first chance to synergize all their skills into the full multi-event program.
Gauchos Pick Up Six Athletes Early in the Spring Signing Period
Six high school athletes have recently signed with the Gaucho track program and will make their debuts next season. These athletes are Ashley Beechan in the middle distances, Maddy Franklin in the throws, Callie Mulgannon in the 800m, Mikael Powers in the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, Alyssa Rife in the heptathlon, and Tamara Thomas in the long jump and triple jump. The Gauchos look forward to welcoming these young athletes to the team in 2009.
Peace, Love, and Regionals
"Power" should probably be added to that list as well, as two Gaucho throwers picked up NCAA Regional qualifying marks in the shot put last weekend. Competing at the Soka University Peace Invitational, Matt Barkley heaved the shot 56'4.5" (17.18m) on his final attempt, earning himself a ticket to Regionals and a new lifetime best. Jeff Stewart was exceptional in the ring as well, hitting 56'0" (17.07m) to finish second in a dominating performance from the throws crew. These are the first Regional marks of the season for the Gauchos, and it continues a highly successful legacy in the shot put that has developed over the past few seasons.
Jane Doolittle is on a winning streak in the high jump. In fact, she's undefeated on the season so far, winning the event in every meet the Gauchos have competed in. Last weekend at Soka, she set a new lifetime best by clearing 5 feet 8 inches (1.73m). Her mark is only two centimeters away from meeting the Regional qualifying standard. She has also moved further up in the Gaucho record books, currently sitting at number 3 on the all-time high jump list. The last time the lady Gauchos had a high jumper clear a bar higher than 5'8" was almost twenty years ago, so Doolittle will find herself in elite company if she can continue to improve her marks.
I Wanna Go Fast!
After running an impressive 800m at the All-Cal Challenge and earning Big West Athlete of the Week distinction for it, Ryan Martin entered the 400m dash at the Soka Invite. The 800m was Martin's specialty in high school and will likely continue to be his signature event, but his time of 48.96 in the 400m is the fastest so far this season for the Gauchos. It is also a Conference-qualifying time, which means that Martin has a spot reserved in both events at the Conference Championships. The 400m-800m double is one of the toughest to run at a meet since there isn't a very long break between the two races, but Martin is certainly capable of participating in either one or the other, and maybe even both.
Lauri Schakett has made the best of the last two weeks, hurdling her way in to the Conference Championships in both the 100m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. Last week at Soka, she ran a 15.12 in the 100m hurdles to solidify her spot in that event. She was busy all day, also competing in the 200m dash, long jump, and javelin throw in preparations for an upcoming heptathlon. At the All-Cal Challenge, she ran a 64.75 in the 400m hurdles to qualify for Conference, and also competed in the 100m hurdles and the long jump. Her versatility should prove valuable to the Gauchos down the stretch.
Challenging the System
The only thing missing from the meet on March 1st was the Board of Regents, as the All-Cal Challenge brought the institutions of the UC System to Irvine for an early season get-together. Fueled by several positive results, the Gauchos came away with a second-place showing from the men and a fourth-place showing from the women. These results were, admittedly, a little disappointing for both teams, but the season is still young and the team is committed to making the necessary improvements. A number of athletes deserve recognition for winning their respective events. They are: Jeff Stewart in the shot put and hammer throw, Jane Doolittle in the high jump, Ryan Martin in the 800m, and Michael Powers in the steeplechase.