The Gauchos track and field team started off the season strong with a rout Saturday at Westmont College in its double dual meet against the Pepperdine Waves and the home Warriors.
The UCSB men’s team came away with a 127-54 victory over Westmont as well as a 132-11 triumph over Pepperdine. The Gaucho men came out on top in an impressive 17 out of the 18 events in the meet.
Meanwhile the women’s team was also able to overcome both Westmont and Pepperdine by respective scores of 123.5-67.5 and 125-42. The Gaucho women grabbed wins in 14 events.
The Gaucho men put on a superb display in the mile, with UCSB athletes filling up all three top spots in the event. Senior Anthony Ortolan led the field for most of the race, but junior George Baier and senior Bradford Littooy shot past him on the last lap and seized the top two spots.
Baier picked up the first win of his collegiate career with a time of 4:10.55. Littooy finished second, just ahead of Ortolan with a time of 4:11.79. Despite dropping to third, Ortolan still finished with a personal best time of 4:11.88.
Later in the day, Ortolan was able to earn redemption as he destroyed the field in the 3,000m with a time of 8:26.09. The UCSB men were able to sweep the top three spots in this event as well, with sophomore Patrick Burke finishing second with a personal best time of 8:26.43 and Baier finishing third with a personal best time of 8:28.04.
For the women, freshman Sabrina Janes showed her amazing potential with a win in her first ever college race. She edged out Westmont’s Jessica Meyers in the mile with a time of 5:08.34.
Sophomore Jenna Hinkle also put her own potential on display in the mile, placing third with a time of 5:11.18.
In the women’s 3,000m, three Gaucho seniors battled it out for the top spot. Victoria Tsolis beat out Maxine Goyette and Sarah Shreck with a personal record time of 10:03.95, improving her best by 28 seconds. Goyette and Shreck finished second and third respectively, with times of 10:22.11 and 10.27.61.
Freshman Hope Bender and Erika Foster made history on Saturday, adding their names to the UCSB All-Time list in the 100m hurdles. Bender came out on top in the race with a time of 14.45, cementing herself in the #5 All-Time spot in UCSB history, while Foster takes her place in the #7 spot on the list with a time of 14.59.
Sophomore Kayla O’Brine was able to improve her own mark in history Saturday. She advanced her place in the #10 spot on the UCSB All-Time hammer list with a new personal best throw of 163’8, building on the mark she earned last year as a freshman.
After a strong first meet of the season with new personal records and team wins all around, the Gauchos will look to build off of their hot start and continue to improve as their season gets underway.
The UCSB track and field team will now look ahead to their next meet, the All UC Championships on Saturday, March 5 at UC San Diego in La Jolla, CA.