Hoping to warm up their legs for the rest of the season, the UCSB men’s and women’s track teams came out running in their second meet of the season.
The UCSB men’s track and field team remained unbeaten last Saturday by wining a home tri-meet over conference foes Fullerton and Bakersfield, while the women’s team also defeated Bakersfield but fell seven points short to CSUF.
In just their second meet of the new season, the Gauchos were prepared to start off on the right foot. The Santa Barbara men’s squad scored 159 points, more than enough weight to knock off the scores of 117 and 72 posted by Fullerton and Bakersfield, respectively.
The UCSB women’s track and field team scored 141 total points in the competition. The score easily handled Bakersfield and their 91 points but came up short to Fullerton’s 148.
UCSB’s success on the men’s side was due to strong point performances from its track squad. The Gauchos manhandled their opposition, tallying 37 more points than Fullerton, their closest opponent. UCSB freshman Parker Lane won both the 100 and 200-meter events, marking times of 11.04 and 22.22. Senior Eric Gans, the defending Big West cross-country champion breezed by the 1500-meter race, wining with a time of 3:56.81. Understanding that the Gauchos are only in preseason form, Gans can put his team’s early success into perspective.
“We looked at [the meet] as an opportunity to get on the track and race,” Gans said. “Right now the focus is on training, not winning.”
Santa Barbara junior Katie Appenrodt led the charge for the women’s squad. Appenrodt won the 1500-meter event with a smoking time of 4:38.55, cruised to victory in the 800 meter with a career-best 2:18.11 time and led the 4×400-meter relay to the blue ribbon. UCSB sophomore Gilleon Smith won the long jump competition by soaring 17’07’.50″, closely edging by two Fullerton jumpers.
Though they finished second, Appenrodt realizes that the Gauchos will be much harder to knock off once the season is in full swing and Santa Barbara is completely healthy.
“A lot of racers sacrificed for the team,” Appenrodt said. “As soon as everyone is healthy we will be good.”
The Gauchos hope that their success will carry over to the All-UC Meet, hosted by Irvine. The meet will mark the first regular-season competition of 2002, and consist of such rival schools as UCLA, Riverside, San Diego and the host, Irvine.