May 15, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. -- The UC Santa Barbara track and field team came home late Saturday night from the Big West Championships hosted by UC Irvine at Anteater Stadium with six conference champions and a number of new personal records. The men scored 116.5 points to finish fourth overall and the women totaled 126 points and placed second.
Ryan Martin and Justine Diaz in the 800 meters, Amanda Moreno in the 5k, Breanne Strenkowski in the 10k, Mitchell Haag in the high jump and Anthony Masci in the 3k steeplechase became UCSB's 2011 Conference Champions.
Martin highlighted the second day of the conference championships with his head to head dual against Charles Jock of UC Irvine, a favorite in the 800 meters who was ranked number one in the conference coming into the meet. With Jock leading the pack during the first lap, Ryan Martin gave it his all down the far stretch on the second lap and in true finishing form, ducked ahead of Jock to finish six hundredths of a second faster at 1:45.34. Both Martin and Jock's time beat the previous meet record set by Mark Schilling and Mark Enyeart in 1977. Martin also broke his own UCSB school record and currently holds the third fastest time in the US this year. Rusty Parker placed fourth in the finals in 1:50.82 and set a new personal record as well and Greg Dotson ran 1:52.53 in the finals to place seventh overall.
Justine Diaz who finished third in the 800 meter last conference meet set herself ahead of the pack from the start and claimed her first conference title with her time of 2:10.30. Cassie Brooker place fifth with a time of 2:12.54 and Sarah Vitug finished sixth by running 2:12.57.
Lauren Kodama who ran a personal best in the 400 meters during the preliminary rounds of 56.08 finished sixth with a time of 56.33. James Martin ran 48.88 to place sixth in the men's 400 meters. Jacob Vowels ran 22.14 in the 200 meter dash and placed seventh in the conference as a freshman.
Beidi Beer who was poised to break the school record this weekend finished fourth in the finals with a time of 10.74 and going against a head wind of 0.1. Although Snita Ashford battled injury after injury for two seasons, she remained determined throughout the years and finished her senior season with a fourth place finish with her time of 12.10. Along with Ashford, Kodama and Brooker also faced similar injury laden seasons but continued to work hard through the years to find themselves all conference finalists this year.
In the distance races, Callie Mulgannon finished fourth in 4:30.56 and setting a new personal record and Megan Petkovic finishing seventh in 4:34.31 for a new personal record as well. Juan Paredes and Tyler Brady finished sixth and seventh respectively, with Paredes running 3:47.45 and Brady following closely behind in 3:47.58. The men's 5,000 meters was fierce competition from the beginning yet Bhavik Kanzaria placed seventh out of 31 finalists in a time of 14:46.16. Anthony Masci who claimed the steeplechase conference title the day before finished in 15th in a time of 15:00.26. Michael Wysocki finished in 15:05.77, Jeremy Acosta finished in 15:17.43 and Juan Paredes ran 15:31.72.
Conference record holder Amanda Moreno won the women's 5,000 meter in clear fashion and fellow teammate Breanne Strenkowski followed behind in 16:48.87. Andrea Jacobs placed seventh overall in 17:07.09. Christine Cooperstein finished the race in 17:17.10, Danielle Moreno in 17:19.43, Cassie Brooker in 17:25.90 and Megan Petkovic in 17:42.39.
Freshman Sean Johnson had a stellar performance in the 110 meter hurdles and finished fourth overall in a time of 14.88.
Aislynn Mueller, Amanda Rodriguez, and Emily Gordon took fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively in the 400 meter hurdles. Mulller ran 62.06, Rodriguez ran 62.52 and Gordon ran 62.83 which were all new personal records. Alvin Go replaced Andre Pinon in the 400 meter hurdles and earned seventh overall in a time of 53.70. The men's 4x100 meter relay team consisting of Cameron Schneider, Jacob Vowels, Evan Walker, and Beidi Beer finished fourth overall in 41.35. The women's team of Snita Ashford, Lauren Kodama, Kelsey Bolden, and Jessica Johnson earned sixth place with their time of 47.70.
As tradition goes, during the last event of a meet which is typically the 4x400 meter relay, the Gauchos line the last bend before the home stretch and cheer on their teammates. With much help from the Gaucho cheering section, the women's team of Lauren Kodama, Justine Diaz, Amanda Rodriguez and Jessica Johnson ran 3:43.32 for a new school record and placing second overall. The men's team consisting of André Piñon, Alvin Go, Jordan Scott, and Ryan Martin would place third with a time of 3:10.82.
In the field events, Derek Masterson cleared 15'9.25" to tie for fifth in the pole vault after dislocating his shoulder on one of his attempts. Masterson also earned fifth in the long jump with a mark of 22'1" and fifth in the javelin with a throw of 186'0". In the long jump, freshman Karlon Johnson earned a seventh place finish by jumping 45'7".
Chad Seymour placed eighth overall in the shot put by throwing 50'1.25" and freshman Josh Scherer threw 45'7.25" which becomes his new personal best. Scherer also set new personal bests in the discus at 156'11" and hammer throw at 172'2". Julian Samson earned 10th place in the discus at 152'1", Seymour at 145'0" and Adam Shigem threw 145'10".
In women's high jump, Maureen Ajoku tied her personal best at 5'7" and Helena Montin cleared the same height for a new personal record. Symone Evans jumped 36'3.5" in the triple jump to place ninth overall. Alex Francis earned fifth place in women's shot put with a toss of 43'5.75" to tie her personal best and Alyssa Manning threw 39'1" for a new personal best. Francis also competed in the javelin where she threw 111'8" for 10th place.
UCSB will have a week off before heading to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA preliminaries on May 26-28.