In the final weekend of the regular season, many members of the UCSB men’s track team looked to post qualifying marks for the Big West Championships. The Big West Championship heptathlon and decathlon also began this weekend, leaving the remaining athletes to compete at the Claremont Classic in an attempt to either gain entry or get ready for the upcoming championships.
UCSB’s only successes at the Claremont Classic came from the throwers. The Gauchos had two qualifying marks in the shot put, one from sophomore Scott Anderson and the other from freshman Tim Delmundo. Delmundo threw the shot 15.23 meters and Anderson threw 16.59 meters, which was good for sixth place.
The discus event also had two athletes posting qualifying marks for UCSB, as Anderson had another sixth-place finish with a throw of 49.33 meters and sophomore Nick Sheuerman just broke the Big West qualifying mark with a throw of 44.53 meters.
With many of their top runners not competing in preparation for the Big West Championships, the Gauchos made less of an impact in the track events. Freshman Erik Aardall was the highest UCSB finisher of the day, with a fifth-place effort in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Freshman sprinter Jason Newland was strong as a first-year, finishing 16th in the 100-meter and 15th in the 200-meter, two events that were filled with more experienced competition.
Meanwhile, the Big West Championships began with the heptathlon and decathlon competitions. Junior Kent Centers, who competed in the decathlon, was the only Gaucho in either event. The first day consisted of the 100-meter dash, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump and the 400-meter.
Centers, who specializes in the high jump, tied for first in that event clearing 8.04 meters. At the end of the first day, Centers sat in eighth place with 3312 points, only 300 points away from the top three at the halfway mark in the competition.
The Gauchos will spend this week gearing up for the Big West Championships, which start Friday at Cal State Northridge.