The throwers of the UCSB track and field team thrived in their rigorous track meet this weekend. Competing against harsh winds, brutal rainfall, and 1,500 other athletes in the Triton Classic, the Gauchos did not let these discouraging circumstances get the best of them and came out firing on all cylinders. Their perseverance was rewarded as both the men’s and women’s team finished in the top five respectably in their events.
Albert Hughes kicked things off for the Gauchos Friday morning in the hammer competition. Coming into the event ranked 29th in the nation, the senior dominated the event in a field of 48 throwers which included notables like Wisconsin’s Michael Lihrman.
Hughes opened the competition with a mark of 200’3 and finished the day with a hammer throw of 201’3. This was a rapid jump from his previous high of 185’5 at the Mount Sac Relays last weekend. Hughes’ final throw was the second farthest throw of his career.
Hughes placed fourth overall behind Lihrman, who won the match with a final round throw of 239’.
“Albert is showing the strength of a fourth year thrower,” assistant coach Cody Fleming said.
The senior from Garden Grove, California holds the number three spot all-time in UCSB history in the hammer event and looks to continue this solid play heading into the Big West Championship on May 15th. Hughes is also first overall in the Big West for the hammer as well.
On the women’s side, the female trio of Ashley Alama, Heather Hawes, and Lara Lewis carried the load for UCSB all competing in the discus event.
Ashley Alama recorded a team-high 152’6 on the day, good for the second best throw in her career.
Heather Hawes followed Alama’s team-high on her third attempt with her mark of 152’3. The senior from Napio, California has hit the 150 mark in three consecutive events for the Gauchos.
All three Gaucho throwers rank in the top 16 in the Big West rankings.
Hanna Person picked things up right where she left off in the hammer competition. The senior thrower from Redding, California added to her hot streak this weekend breaking the 170 mark for the third straight time with 172’10. This is Person’s second best throw behind her mark of 174’3. Person moves to fifth all-time in UCSB history with her performance and 11th place in the Big West.
Valerie Nestor also made her presence known in the hammer event, clinching the second best throw of her career with 159’1.
As the end of the regular season draws near the Gauchos have one more invitational before they head into postseason play. With the Big West Championship and NCAA West Preliminaries in sight, the Gauchos will need to focus if they hope to finish strong and head in with some momentum.
A select group of UCSB athletes will travel to Westmont next Saturday to compete in the Cal-Poly Dual. Festivities will be held all day and a preview of the meet will be held this week.