The UCSB men’s and women’s track and field teams left impressions at home and on the road this weekend. Santa Barbara’s top distance runners traveled to Stanford’s Cardinal Qualifier Friday night and held their own against the nation’s top runners. Sophomore Ben Armel and junior J.T. Service both recorded lifetime bests in Palo Alto.
A clutch afternoon from Jasmine Washington sent the junior sprinter into the record books. Washington broke the school record in the 400-meters with a time of 53.65 seconds to qualify for the NCAA Provincial Meet at the Nick Carter Invitational at Santa Barbara on Saturday, where most of the Gauchos competed.
“I was really excited to finally qualify for the NCAA Provincial,” Washington said. “It was great running at home. The past few events have all had cold weather and Saturday it was nice and warm. [The Nick Carter Invitational] was a low-key event. It lets you focus on your event instead of thinking about points and who else is running.”
The Gauchos always look forward to the Nick Carter Invitational, the only home event for the team all season.
Washington won the 400 with her extraordinary performance and sophomore sisters Desiree and Tiffany De Jesus took first in their respective events. Desiree’s time of 11 minutes, 47.75 seconds was best in the 3000-meter Steeplechase and Tiffany’s time of 5 minutes, 12.63 seconds in the mile also earned her a top finish. Freshman Roshawn Perkins finished first in the 100-meter with a time of 12.44 seconds, but not satisfied with just one win, the sprinter went on to log her second victory of the day in the 200-meter with a time of 25.28 seconds.
“[The Nick Carter Invitational] was really good,” Service said. “I got to see Jasmine [Washington] run really fast. It was fun to be able to watch each other.”
The men’s team was just as dominating Saturday at the Nick Carter Invite. Sophomore Noel Corral won the 400 with a time of 48.33 seconds. Senior Ron DiMaggio took first in the 800-meters with a time of one minute, 51.29 seconds. Senior Adrian Dilley won the long jump with a distance of 23 feet, 8 1/4 inches, and junior Cheyne Murray took first in the discus with a throw of 172 feet, 7 inches.
Friday night under the lights, Armel ran a lifetime-best 1 minute, 48.70 seconds in the 800. Armel’s time was the best this season in the Big West, and the thirteenth best in the nation this year.
“I felt really good,” Armel said. “It was the perfect setup, we did exactly what we wanted to do. It was planned for me to stay at the back of the pack, out of trouble, and then just start climbing to the front.”
Service also recorded a lifetime-best in the 3000 Steeplechase in Palo Alto with a time of 9 minutes, 3.55 seconds, the sixth-best time in that event in UCSB history and the fastest time in the Big West this season.
“It was definitely the best race of my life,” Service said. “It was fun and the conditions were perfect. It was at night, cool, and there was no wind.”