A total of 12 athletes of the UCSB track and field team competed this weekend in Lawrence, Kansas for the Western half of the preliminary round of the NCAA Championships.
Five Gauchos finished in the top-20 of their events, but ultimately just one was able to come through with a performance good enough to advance to the final round of the postseason in Oregon.
Senior high jumper Jessica Emde will be the lone Gaucho making her way out of the West and into the national round for UCSB, continuing as one of the top-12 finishers in her event. She took the eighth qualifying spot with a leap of 1.76m, good enough for fifth place.
Emde was one of three Gauchos who seemed to have the best chance at nationals heading into the weekend. The other two, seniors Shyan and Tori Tsolis, both 1500 runners, were unable to reach their full potential to secure a spot in the following round.
On the men’s side, Vaziri had high hopes for his prospects coming into the weekend but couldn’t quite put it all together on Saturday. He ended up finishing eighth in his heat and 32nd overall in his event with a time of 3:48.74, outside of the pool of qualifiers for nationals. This was disappointing considering the fact that he was ranked No. 9 in the West to start off the regionals.
For the women, Tsolis came into the regional ranked at No. 15 in the 1500 but finished her heat with a 4:35.44 time that left her in the nine spot in her heat and the 40th spot overall.
Also competing in the 1500 was junior George Baier, who finished 45th overall with a run of 3:56.01. He finished 12th in his heat.
Three athletes represented UCSB in the javelin throw with two competitors on the men’s side and one on the women’s side.
Senior Melissa Rake finished in 17th place in the women’s section with a toss of 47.56m for a fifth-place finish.
For the men, junior Matthew Kuskey finished in 18th with a throw of 65.22m. He was fourth in his heat. Fellow junior Darion Williams was unable to record a qualifying toss.
Rounding out the men’s team’s work were the performances of sophomore hammer thrower Jeremy Franklin and junior hurdler Myles McDonald.
Franklin threw 61.69m to finish fifth in his heat and 15th overall in his event, just three spots away from qualifying for nationals.
McDonald came close to qualifying but was unable to close it out. He ran a 51.86 second race in the 400m hurdles, finishing third in his heat and 18th overall.
The Gaucho women’s team was completed by a couple freshman jumpers and a junior in the steeplechase.
Freshman Alivia Schlueter jumped 11.59m in the triple jump, finishing 11th amongst her heat and 44th overall.
Freshman pole vaulter Sierra Emrick leapt 3.82m to place 22nd in her heat and 44th overall.
To round out the crowd, junior Maxine Goyette ran a 11:06.90 in the 3000m steeplechase to finish 15th in her heat and 43rd overall.
Senior high jumper Emde will be competing in the NCAA Championships at Eugene, Oregon, next Wednesday through Saturday, June 8-11.