Saturday at UCSB’s Pauley Track, the Gaucho women won the 12th annual Big West Challenge Cup and the record book shook like a Polaroid picture.
The Santa Barbara women finished with 218 points to beat Long Beach State (2nd), UC Irvine (3rd) and Cal State Fullerton (4th).
Fifth-year senior Jasmine Washington led the way for the Gauchos, shattering the 400-meter meet record and equaling the school record.
“She’s kind of the heart and soul of the team,” UCSB Assistant Coach Jeff Jacobs said. “I was shocked when I heard her time in the 400 because she still had two more races to run and she still equaled her school record.”
Sophomore Amy Haapanen also helped rewrite the record book with her distances in the shot put and discus.
Sophomore Kylie McCuen, an emerging star for UCSB track, was brilliant again Saturday, finishing second to Washington in the 400 and the 200. The Brea native also anchored the 4×100 relay team consisting of Washington and sophomores Elise Geiger and Leticia Pulido that set a new school record with a time of 46.97.
“Kylie has really been overshadowed by Jasmine. Any other year we would be going crazy about her,” Jacobs said. “But it’s nice having the top two runners on your team.”
Overall, spectacular individual performances on the women’s team were abundant. Sophomore Heather Quinn moved up to #2 all-time in school history with a throw of 170’0″ in the hammer.
A 1-2 finish by sophomore twins Lauren and Lindsay Christman all but secured a Gaucho victory in the 800 and a 1-2-3 UCSB finish in the 3000 made the victory a comfortable one.
Junior Desiree Leek led the sweep, running a personal best 9:57.50. Senior Tiffany Armel was second (10:06.93) and freshman Megan Lewis took third in 10:10.40.
The Santa Barbara men did not fair quite as well as the women, placing third in the four-team event. Plagued by a disqualification, a false start and a lack of hurdlers, the men struggled as a team but still produced some spectacular individual performances.
UC Irvine won the Challenge Cup for the first time and Long Beach State finished in second.
Senior Chris White set a new meet record in the 4000 with a time of 8:21.82, while freshman Nick Cunningham and senior Nohel Corral went 1-2 in the 200. The men also finished 1-2 in the 800 when sophomore Tetlo Emmen finished on top and junior Ben Armel right behind both beat the meet record. Corral also won the 400 for the Gauchos with a seasonal best time of 47.70.
In the 1500, UC Irvine’s Tom Whelan edged out UCSB’s Pablo Gallegos and Mike Chavez while setting a new meet record.