The UCSB women’s track team triumphed again, this time against rival Cal Poly. The Mustangs lost to the Gauchos 101-95, but the men were not powerful enough to overcome Cal Poly and lost 117-77.
“It was a lot of fun. People had just perfect races,” junior Cosette Smith said. “It was a small meet on our track but we pulled off regional times. Everyone was supportive.”
The women dominated the meet. Sophomore Amy Haapanen placed first in three events: the discus, hammer throw and shot put. She broke the conference record for the hammer throw and the school record in both the hammer and discus. Santa Barbara took the top three spots in the discus with Haapanen in first, sophomore Heather Quinn in second, and freshman Charlene Heaston in third.
“I competed well. I got myself out there and threw some good marks,” Haapanen said. “My technique is not perfect and I still have a lot of improving to do.”
In the sprints, sophomore Elise Geiger took first in the 100-meter dash and sophomore Kylie McCuen and Geiger finished one and two in the 200. Senior Jasmine Washington ran the 400 in 53.93, finishing first by more than a second. Freshman Lindsay Christman placed first in the 800, followed by sophomore Roseann Peters and freshman Lauren Christman. Christman and junior Desiree Leek pulled off a one and two finish in the 1,500 and Smith took fourth.
“It was really exciting to see [Christman and Leek]. I’m really proud of them. Lauren qualified for regionals and Desiree was only two seconds away,” Smith said.
Junior Desiree DeJesus just missed first in the 3,000 steeplechase by a few tenths of a second to place second. The women also came from behind to win the 4 x 400 relay, beating Cal Poly by only two hundredths of a second. It was the only UCSB relay to win.
Despite the men’s loss, there were several exciting performances.
“Cal Poly is a really deep team in every event. We had a few great individuals but overall, they didn’t pull it together,” Smith said.
Sophomore Eugene Bradley took first in the hammer throw with a distance that qualified for regionals. Gaucho seniors Richie Alpers and sophomore Matt Mettler finished two and three behind Bradley. Bradley also took third in the shot put. Junior Hunter Orahood placed first in the high jump and sophomore Isaac Herrera finished first in the long jump and second in the triple jump.
In the track events, senior Nohel Corral qualified for regionals in the 400 with a time of 47.16 and a first place finish. Sophomore Tetlo Emmen took first in the 800, while fellow Gauchos freshman Mike Chavez, junior Ryan McGinnis, and freshman Patrick Derry took fourth, fifth, and sixth. Red-shirt freshman Stew Harwell finished second in the 5,000, leading the close-knit pack of Gauchos who took third, fourth, and fifth.
“Some events we don’t really have people for,” Haapanen said. “We just put someone in, which is great because they are helping out the team, but it’s not their specialty.”
Next weekend the team will compete in the Cardinal Invitational at Stanford on Friday and the Steve Scott Invitational on Sunday at UC Irvine.