May 12, 2007
The final day of the Big West Championships finished with the UCSB men in second for their highest placing in men's team history. The men produced five Big West individual titles, the most ever for the team. The Gaucho women were runners-up for the second year running as they also had five Big West individual champions, breaking two school records and one conference record. The efforts tied with the 2005 team for most combined individual titles and set a school record for most All-Big West performances with 27.
The men's team scored a school record 162.5 point in a heartbreaking loss to host Northridge who claimed the conference title with 165 points. Cal Poly was third with 149 tallies, while Long Beach State, last year's champion, ended the championships with 115 points. Cal State Fullerton was fifth with 103 points, while UC Irvine (96) and UC Riverside (21.5) rounded out the men's standings.
The Gaucho women amassed 166 points while Northridge won their second-straight women's title with 174 points. Third place belonged to Long Beach State with 146.5, while Cal Poly was fourth with 129 points. Cal State Fullerton wrapped up the events in fifth place with 79 points, while UC Riverside (61.5) and UC Irvine (59) completed the women's standings.
Both titles were decided by the 4x400-meter relay as UC Santa Barbara entered the race down by 3.5 points. The Gauchos finished with a seasonal best and podium finish with a 3:13.07 good for third place but Cal State Northridge's fourth place clinched the team title for the Matadors. The UCSB women entered the relay 2 points behind CSUN who finished second while the Gauchos finished seventh in the race ending their hopes for a title.
Amy Haapanen continued her spectacular season with two new school records and one conference meet record. Haapanen took the Big West titles in the shot put with a school record toss of 52' 3.25" and the hammer with a conference toss of 206' 3". Haapanen's school record throw of 170' 11" in the discus was good for second place.
Also reaching the podium three times was 1500-meter school record holder Mike Chavez who took the 3000-steeplechase title, was second in the 5000 meters and third in the 1500 meters. J.D. Krawczyk was third in the 10,000 meters and the 5000-meter champion joining Chavez on the podium. Tetlo Emmen won his first conference 800-meter title and ran the fastest time in the Big West conference meet since 1983.
Women's distance matched the performances of the men with three conference titles of their own. Stephanie Rothstein followed up her second place finish in the 10,000 meters with a win the 5,000 in a time of 16:42.50. Rothstein led a 1-2-3 sweep and was joined on the podium by 10,000-meter champion Megan Lewis in second and 3000-steeplechase champion Bethany Nickless in third. Rothstein's win the 5,000 is the women's seventh straight in the event.
The men's throwers took the same individual titles as the women as Jeff Stewart won the Big West title in the shot put for the second straight year. Joining Stewart on the podium in the shot put was Tim Delmundo in second place while Eugene Bradley, Friday's conference champion in the hammer, finshed eighth.
Up next for UCSB is the NCAA West Regional as 20 Gaucho track athletes will compete in Eugene, Or on May 25th and 26th.