Competing against over 100 universities across the nation in the Bryan Clay Invitational, California Invitational Decathlon, and Mount Sac Relays, the UCSB men’s and women’s track and field teams were put to the test from the get go. Both squads did not fail to impress, as many were rewarded with personal bests and moved up the list in the Big West Conference and NCAA play. On top of this, many athletes solidified their place in UCSB history, adding new marks to the all-time records in school history.
Among these athletes included Darion Williams. The sophomore decathlete out of Murrieta California took the Big West lead this week in the decathlon with a score of 6578.
The freshman pole vaulters of UCSB carried the load in the Bryan Clay Invitational. Three athletes had a career day in this non-conference event, creeping into the top-ten UCSB All-Time list with their performances.
Parker Curry led the way for the men’s team setting a new lifetime best in the pole vault with a jump of 16’1.25. The freshman from Rancho San Margarita tied for sixth place in this event against 55 other athletes. This moves him to ninth place all-time in UCSB history and fifth place in the Big West Conference this year.
The freshman duo of Lauren Larson and Brooke Pestano also moved in to the UCSB all-time books with their PR clearance of 11’10. Both athletes now share the #6 spot in UCSB history.
Other notables in the Bryan Clay included Tommy Poston, who ran the 1,500m with a final time of 3:48.75. This was the first time the sophomore runner dropped under 3:50 in his career. Poston moves to #10 all-time with this performance.
Seven select athletes participated in the Mount Sac Relays this past weekend.
Junior runner Adam Avila set things off Thursday evening for the Gauchos, competing in the collegiate section of the 3,000m steeplechase event. Avila ran under 10 minutes for the second time this season, dropping his personal best to 8:59.60 in Thursday’s event. Avila now holds the eighth fastest time in UCSB history for the 3,000m.
Bryan Rausa also carried the Gauchos in Friday’s 3,000 steeplechase, beating Avila’s personal best with a time of 8:53.96. The senior out of Temecula, California stayed with the pack the whole way, placing fourth in the event and just five seconds off from first place. Rausa was the second collegiate athlete to cross the finish line.
On the women’s side, senior Jessica Johnson ran her specialty in the 400m, finishing third in the event with a season-best 53.86. Johnson continues to show progress, as she has improved her times in three of her last four events. This is Johnson’s third time in her career she has dropped under the 54-second standard mark and her second time this season. Johnson’s performance puts her in third place in Big West Conference.
Senior Dani Moreno also ran her first 5,000m of the season, grabbing the first spot in the Big West with her time of 16:40.40.
The Gauchos now shift gears to in-conference play as a select group will head down to UC San Diego this Friday to compete in the Triton Invite. Following this, UCSB will travel to Westmont College May 2nd for the Cal Poly Dual.