2005 Season Recap: Women Win Big West Championships

Nov. 18, 2005

The UCSB Women's Track & Field team capped off a historic season with their first ever Big West team title. On the move over the last couple years, an overall team effort sealed the 2005 Championship over Conference rivals. All-in-all in 2005, five titles were won at the Big West Championships, one Big West Conference record was broken, six UCSB records were smashed, nine women qualified for the West Regional Championships, three went on to the NCAA Div. I Championships and 48 new All-Time Top Ten marks were recorded.

The Sprints
Led by Kylie McCuen (Jr.), she was able to fill some big shoes left behind by alumnus Jasmine Washington whom held school records from 100m to 400m and both of the relays. In 2005, she broke the 200m school record sprinting to a 23.88 en route to becoming Big West Champion at that distance as well as winning the 400m Conference title. McCuen was named the Big West Female track athlete for her performances at the Conference Championships.

The Distances
The distance squad dominated the Big West in 2005 by scoring 73 points in only four events. Leading the pack was Lauren Christman (Jr.) who broke the 1500m school record posting a 4:20.90 as well as breaking the 5000m UCSB and Big West record racing to a 16:16.35 at the NCAA Championships. Four Gauchos qualified for the NCAA West Regional 5000m, three qualified for the 1500m and school record holder Bethany Nickless qualified in the 3000m Steeplechase. Megan Lewis (So.) one of the 5000m Regional qualifiers, would take home the 10,000m Big West title in her first attempt at that distance. All of these accolades culminated at Big West with a 1-4 sweep of the 5000m to secure the team Championship. Christman and Cosette Smith (Sr.) would go onto to qualify for the NCAA Championship 5000m finals.

The Throws
The strong arms for the Gauchos, the throwers in 2005 were big factors in the 2005 team title. The ladies scored 49 points with Heather Quinn (Jr.) taking home titles in the Shot Put and the Discus. She then went on to also finish 4th in the Hammer Throw an event which was won by fellow teammate Amy Haapanen (Jr.). Both qualified for the Regional Championships in all three throws, with Haapanen advancing in the Hammer to the NCAA Championships. Rebecca Richey (Jr.) in the Javelin set the tone for the Gauchos at the Big West Championship when she finished a surprise 2nd breaking the school record with a toss of 150 feet, qualifying her for the Regional Championships.

The Jumps & Vault
The Gaucho jump squad surprised their competitors at the Conference Championships. One of the most impressive improvements, Chelsea Haverty entered the meet with a 36'10.50" foot seasonal best in the triple jump, but went on to break the school record by over a foot leaping to 39'08.75 and a fourth place finish.
In the Pole Vault, Heidi Nyberg (So.) and Jessica Horn (So.) finished good seasons by taking 4th and 6th respectively at the Big West Championships. Nyberg became the 2nd highest vaulter at UCSB at Big West by going 11'11.75 feet.