After a competitive weekend filled with 48 of the top collegiate athletes in the nation, UCSB’s men’s and women’s track and field teams will send three Gauchos to the NCAA West Championships. Jessica Johnson, Tori Tsolis, and Thomas Gore-Schreck will extend their seasons as they prepare to head to Eugene, Oregon on June 10th-13th.
The three stole the show in their performances last Friday, showcasing why they deserve to compete with such talented competition this postseason. Representing UCSB in its first event of the Championships will be Jessica Johnson in the 400m final at 6 p.m.
After a rain-delayed Friday morning, Johnson and Tsolis set the tone with impressive performances in the 400m and 1,500m events.
Johnson, the former Centennial high school runner, started the 400m with full force. Running out of the number three lane, she held her position in the inside lane which helped keep her strides in rhythm as she kicked into high gear on the back end stretch. Turning the corner in 4th place, the senior runner crawled her way up and took first with a final time of 53.94. This success contributes to Johnson’s stellar season after delivering one of her best performances in the Big West Championship to capture gold.
Adding to the great production of the UCSB women’s team was Tori Tsolis. She took the line in the 1,500m looking calm and collected. Rapidly settling into the pack, the sophomore distance runner held her pace and made her move with 300m to go. Tsolis would battle it out all the way to the tape, moving up three spots during the final curve.
Tsolis finished in fifth place with a final time of 4:28.75. This grants her an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
On the men’s side, Thomas Gore-Schreck displayed his skills in the javelin competition.
The senior transfer from UC Davis opened the event with a tremendous throw of 221’2. Gore-Schreck’s shot was launched straight deep into the center sector, ranking as the highest throw of the day through the remainder of the competition. The javelin thrower placed eleventh overall in the event, punching his ticket to the big dance for the first time in his collegiate career.
Gore-Schreck continues to add to his senior resume with such an excellent performance. The Portola Valley, CA native set the javelin all-time record in UCSB history this year and took the Big West Title at UC Riverside earlier this month.
Seniors Bryce Rausa and Albert Hughes had strong outings in the hammer competition and the 3,000m steeplechase. Despite fighting hard to the finish in each event, both athletes were unable to qualify for the Championship events.