It was a fruitful weekend for the UCSB men’s and women’s track team.
The Gauchos split up their team power and sent part of the squad to Pomona, CA to compete in the Pomona Invitational, while a handful of other team members traveled to Walnut, CA to represent Santa Barbara in the Mt. Sac Relays. Both were non-scoring meets. The highlights of the weekend included an incredible 10,000-meter run by junior Josh Horton, whose time set a UCSB school record in the race and also placed him eighteenth in the NCAA for the year.
Running his first 10K of the season, Horton crossed the line at 29:09.85, which is more than 30 seconds under the NCAA provisional standard. His mark was good enough to secure ninth place at the prestigious meet and leave him with a good chance of heading to the NCAA championships.
“It’s just a really long run,” Horton said. “The thing about the 10K is usually people don’t run a lot of them because you’re really sore afterwards. It’s tough on your body.”
The women’s side notched a number of impressive highlights at Mt. Sac as well. A bright spot for the Gaucho women was found in the 1500m race. The race started out slowly, but as it progressed two UCSB athletes separated from the pack to take the lead – senior Jessica Lunt and sophomore Katie Appenrodt. The race ended with Lunt in front of Appenrodt by a mere tenth of a second.
“Jess and I were supposedly in one of the fastest heats, but the race started really slow,” Appenrodt said. “Jess came out and led it the whole way through. She kept pace really well. Both of our times were seasonal PR’s.”
At the Pomona Invitational, senior team captain Baruti Armstrong put forth a notable performance. Armstrong’s time in the 110m hurdles was a lifetime best of 14.6 seconds, which puts him in ninth place for the event in UCSB’s history books. There was also a handful of personal bests by the women competing at Pomona. Freshman Gilleon Smith and sophomores Liz Mallon and Jasmeen Smith all came away with PR’s.
This upcoming weekend Santa Barbara will hit the road once again to compete in the Cal/Nevada Championships located at Irvine.
“It’s kind of a fun race – it’s like a high school championship at the collegiate level,” Appenrodt said of next weekend’s event. “You get to rank yourself against a lot of other schools in California.”