April 20, 2006
The Gauchos are in their final tune-up stages of the year as a few select athletes travel up to the infamous Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, with the rest gearing up for the battle of the Central Coast right here at UCSB on April 29th versus Cal Poly SLO. What have they accomplished thus far and what are they looking forward to? For starters, on the Women's side they are again undefeated for the second year in a row when at full strength as a team, they have two new school records, and they have given the top-ten board another humble shellacking in almost all disciplines. However, it will take another large effort to go after a Big West title against what appears to be a strong Cal St. Northridge team. Breaking it down:
Kylie McCuen (Sr.), 2005 Big West Track & Field Athlete of the Year and defending champ at 200m and 400m is entering the final few weeks in great form. She tops the Big West at 200m (24.07) and ranks 2nd in the 400m after she dipped under 55 seconds for the first time in '06 two weeks ago with a 54.97. McCuen has also not lost to a Big West West opponent since March 25th. Adding some depth to the sprints are Elise Geiger (Sr.) who has been running solid from 100m-400m and Kerry Gamble (So.) a 400m specialist who has recovered almost 100% after a Fall surgery. Both relays are currently ranked 3rd in the Big West. Two weeks from now they are favored against Cal Poly SLO with all three women ahead of the Mustangs thus far in 2006 at 100m and 400m.
Again, a little slim at 800m, the Gauchos have relied on some women dropping from the longer distances as well as sprinters to pick up some team points. At 1500m, four women, Megan Lewis (Jr.), Hadas Moser (Jr.), Bethany Nickless (So.) and Stephanie Rothstein (Sr.) are ranked 5th-8th in the Big West and are coming on fast. Dierdre Byrne of Cal Poly SLO, a graduate school transfer from Providence by way of Ireland, is currently leading the country at this event leaving the Gauchos with their hands full in two weeks at Pauley Track.
Who's next? A team motto of late, the ladies have made it a mission to one-up each other year in year out. In the 3,000m steeplechase, Nickless came out swinging in her first attempt at the event for '06 with a personal best, lowering her School Record to 10:42.21. She also leads the Big West by over twenty seconds, is 40th in the country and 13th in the West Region. At 5,000m, the Gauchos have been without Lauren and Lindsay Christman, but four women have still broken 17 minutes at the distance. Lewis is leading with 16:32.43 effort which ranks her 30th in the country and 6th in the West. Seanna Martin (Sr.) has been the latest to answer the `who's next' call by dropping twenty-eight seconds off her best this past weekend racing to a 16:40.08. Martin sits at 44th in the country and 11th in the West. You then also have Moser who has dropped thirty seconds in the 5k this year dipping under the 17-minute mark with a 16:57.81.
Who's the fourth? Well, although she has not run it yet, Rothstein ran a 16:47 in the first half of her 10k, proceeding to drop a 16:40 in her 2nd 5k during the race; two splits that would have qualified her for the NCAA West Regional Championships. Her final time of 33:27.85 not only broke the UCSB and Big West Records for 10,000m (6.2 miles or 25 laps around the 400m oval), but also qualified her automatically for the NCAA Championships and the USA National Championships. She currently ranks 10th in the United States. Rothstein will get her 5k chance this weekend at the Oregon Invitational on Friday Night. Back to the 5,000m, the women have four of the top five times in the Big West.
Stellamarie Hall has been making headlines this year and not just because of her patented blue and gold high socks. She has been having a career year setting big personal bests in the 100m and 400m hurdles. She ran a wind legal 14.84 at the Big West Challenge Cup two weeks ago ranking her 5th all-time at UCSB and in the Big West. At 400m she has dropped over a second with a time of 61.89. Her time is #3 on the UCSB charts and #3 on the Big West list. Also in the top ten of the Big West is Diana Joyner (Jr.) and Noelle Phares (So.), ranked 8th and 10th respectively at 400m hurdles.
Jumps & Vault
At the Pole Vault pit, two Gauchos are over eleven feet and one just under at 10-10. '05 All-Conference finisher Heidi Nyberg (Jr.) and Jessicia Horn (So.) have cleared 11-01.75 this year ranking them 4th and 5th in the Big West. Nyberg has a personal best of 11-11.75 and Horn 11-05.75. Melanie Sonby (So.) set a personal best of 10-10 at the Cal-Nevada Championships and can be factor in the Big West if she vaults her best.
In the High Jump, some fresh faces have been improving steadily. Freshman Jane Doolittle has jumped a seasonal best of 5-03; good for the 7th spot in Big West, while fellow newcomer Genevieve McGreevy has gone over 5-01 placing her #12 on the conference depth chart. Doolittle has the potential to do some damage come May with her high school personal best of 5-08. In the Long and Triple Jump, Katie Kramer (Jr.), a Gaucho heptathlete, has gone 18-05.25 and 36-06.75, just shy of her personal best in each event. She is 8th and 10th in the Big West. Ashley Coelho has been having a bit of an off year after last year's performances with bests of 16-09.75 and 36-01.25, but if you go back to 2005, she did not show up in force until late April and at the Big West Championships with her 39+-foot jump in the triple.
Having decided to red-shirt their top two throwers, Amy Haapanen and Heather Quinn; a pair of sophomores have been attempting to follow their lead. Charlene Heaston has been just shy of her personal bests in the Shot Put and Discus tossing them 44-05.25 and 142-05 respectively, but managed to launch a ten foot best in the Hammer Throw with a 152-02 foot reading two weeks ago in Irvine, improving upon her #7 ranked UCSB All-Time mark. At the Big West level she is 5th in the Shot and Disc while lying in 7th in the Hammer Throw. Jamie Schwarzbach, the other Sophomore, is just one inch off her personal best in the shot put, but has managed to set new personal records in the Disc and Hammer with throws of 131-03 and 141-03 feet. She currently is #7 in conference and lies just outside scoring (top 8) in the Big West in the other two.
In the Javelin, Danielle DeBeaubien (Sr.) another heptathlete for the Gauchos has gone 116-00 feet ranking her 9th in the Big West. Her personal best of 127-08 could move her up as high as fourth if she able to repeat that feat done in '04.
DeBeaubien and Kramer have each competed in two multi's this year setting seasonal bests of 4,432 points and 4,192 points.
The Gauchos will be in great company this weekend at the Oregon Invitational as they also get prepared for the battle of Central Coast supremacy here at home on Saturday, April 29th versus Cal Poly SLO. Events tentatively begin at Noon.
Gauchos by the Numbers
2 - UCSB School Records
4 - Women Nationally Ranked
20 - New All-Time Top 10 Marks
39 - Women's Marks Ranked in the Big West Top 10
NCAA Women's National Peformance Lists
NCAA Women's West Region Peformance Lists
NCAA Nationally Ranked Gauchos (West Region)
Megan Lewis, 5000m - #31, 16:32.43 (#6)
Seanna Martin, 5000m - #45, 16:40.08 (#11)
Bethany Nickless, Steeplechase - #42, 10:42.21 (#13)
Stephanie Rothstein, 10000m - #10, 33:27.85 (#3)
Big West Conference Women's Peformance Lists
Gaucho Women in the Big West Top 10
7. Kylie McCuen, 12.16
9.Elise Geiger, 12.24
1.Kylie McCuen, 24.07
6. Elise Geiger, 24.90
2. Kylie McCuen, 54.97
5. Elise Geiger, 55.86
7. Kerry Gamble, 56.65
5. Megan Lewis, 4:32.13
6. Hadas Moser, 4:32.44
7. Bethany Nickless, 4:33.65
8. Stephanie Rothstein, 4:34.86
1. Bethany Nickless, 10:42.21
6. Christie Farson, 11:25.06
7. Laura Zung, 11:25.34
1. Megan Lewis, 16:32.43
2. Seanna Martin, 16:40.08
4. Hadas Moser, 16:57.81
5. Stephanie Rothstein, 17:08.65
1. Stephanie Rothstein, 33:27.85
5. Stellamarie Hall, 14.81
3. Stellamarie Hall, 61.89
8. Diana Joyner, 64.39
4. UCSB, 47.28
4. UCSB, 3:46.59
7. Jane Doolittle, 5-03.00
4. Heidi Nyberg, 11-01.75
5. Jessica Horn, 11-01.75
7. Melanie Sonby, 10-10.00
8. Katie Kramer, 18-05.25
10. Katie Kramer, 36-06.75
5. Charlene Heaston, 44-05.25
7. Jamie Schwarzbach, 42-07.50
5. Charlene Heaston, 142-05
9. Jamie Schwarzbach, 131-03
7. Charlene Heaston, 152-02
10. Jamie Schwarzbach, 141-03
9. Danielle DeBeaubien, 116-00
4. Danielle DeBeaubien, 4,438pts.
7. Katie Kramer, 4,192pts.