The UCSB men’s and women’s track and field team competed in the Cal/Nevada Championships held at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. The men placed 14th overall and the women took 16th. The Gauchos’ top runners did not compete in the meet, staying home to rest for next weekend’s Big West Challenge Cup at UCSB.
While the Gauchos may not have taken home an official trophy, each team member returns to UCSB with their own personal triumph.
“I was happy with the results with who we brought. We weren’t going into the meet as a team,” Assistant Coach Jeff Jacobs said. “The individual performances were good. [Senior Tiffany] Armel, [junior Cosette] Smith, and [junior Desiree] Leek showed they are top distance runners in the conference.”
Individual performances did stand out, with both men and women setting new personal and school records. Smith finished the women’s 3000-meter run with a time of 9:50.31 to place sixth in the UCSB record books for all-time fastest 3000 meter. She placed fourth overall at the meet. Teammate Leek took second in the women’s 1500 meter and set a personal record of 4:32.94.
Some Gauchos who did not advance to the finals established new personal bests. Sophomore Roseann Peters missed qualifying for the final by a few hundredths of a second in the 800 meter and freshman Lauri Schakett finished the 400 meter hurdles with a time good enough for a personal record and a qualifying spot at the conference meet.
For the men, junior Hunter Orahood cleared 6’7″ in the high jump to take fourth and sophomore Isaac Herrera finished fifth in the long jump. Both men set new personal records.
“I’m pleased with the men’s field results because they have been struggling. It’s a good sign to see their improvement,” Jacobs said.
Besides personal record highlights, junior Ben Armel won the men’s 800 meter with a time of 1:52.46 and freshman Mike Chavez set a personal record in the 1500 meter and took fifth overall.
“They were the two best races of the day,” Jacobs said. “Armel had a great race. He put in a big kick in the last 200 meters and pulled ahead of the leaders to win.”
Jacobs also commended sophomore Carter Phelps and freshman Micah Tyhurst for their strong efforts in the steeplechase. Phelps finished 11th overall and both men improved their times by over 10 seconds.